T.S. Cristobal continues to strengthen in Gulf of Mexico

WSAV Hurricane Central

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Cristobal is steadily moving through the Gulf of Mexico, giving those in portions of Central America a break from the heavy rain. However, life threatening flood remains a threat through today. As the storm approaches the U.S., heavy rain is expected from the Louisiana coast to Fort Myers, Florida.

As of 11 AM Saturday, Cristobal has a maximum sustained winds of 50 mph with slightly stronger gusts 65 mph. The center of the storm is now located about 345 miles south of the Mississippi River. Movement continues to be to the north at 12 mph. The storm’s central pressure has risen to 994 mb.

Tropical Storm Cristobal is expected to slowly strengthen into a stronger tropical storm tomorrow as it approaches the Louisiana coast.

The forecast track for Cristobal shows the storm tracking north as it approaches the Louisiana coast by Sunday night. It is expected to make landfall late Sunday night into early Monday morning along the Louisiana coast line.

Most of the enhanced convection that leads to thunderstorms and strong wind around the system is on the east side. As a result, tropical storm warnings extend from Louisiana all the way to the Florida panhandle.

Tropical Storm Cristobal is a great example of how tropical system’s impacts extend far from the cone or even the center of the storm. Flooding is possible from the Louisiana coast to the Fort Myers area due to heavy rain from Cristobal. Tropical storm force winds extend 240 miles away from the center.

Strong wind and heavy rain are major concerns for the warned areas. A surge upwards of 3 feet of water is also possible. Even along the west coast of Florida, higher than normal tides are anticipated with possibly up to a foot of storm surge.

At this time, Cristobal is no threat to the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry.

Cristobal is the third named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which started on Monday. This is the earliest date for an Atlantic 3rd named storm formation on record (since 1851). Old record was Colin on June 5, 2016.

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