Tropical Storm Cristobal is now Tropical Depression Cristobal.
The National Hurricane Center downgraded Cristobal on Thursday morning, but warned it will continue to produce heavy rains and life-threatening flooding.
As of the 10 a.m. update, Cristobal was about 160 miles south-southwest of Campeche, Mexico.
The three-day forecast shows the depression headed straight for Louisiana, likely approaching the coast by 7 a.m. Sunday. If it does continue on this path, it could make landfall in Louisiana by Monday morning.
A flood watch is in effect in southeastern Louisiana and parts of Mississippi through Tuesday.
Wednesday, June 3
Tropical Storm Cristobal has made landfall in southern Mexico.
The storm has brought damaging winds and deadly flooding to Mexico and other areas of Central America, according to the latest update from the National Hurricane Center. The heaviest additional rainfall is expected over far southern Mexico and portions of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Even though Cristobal has made landfall, tropical storm conditions will continue along and near the coast of Mexico through Thursday.
Cristobal is forecast to re-emerge over the southern Gulf of Mexico on Friday and move north over the central and northern Gulf of Mexico over the weekend. There’s a flood watch in effect for southern Louisiana through Tuesday. The National Weather Service issued a statement saying the storm is capable of producing copious rainfall each day through the weekend and into early next week.
There is a risk of storm surge, heavy rain and strong winds, beginning over the weekend along portions of the U.S. Gulf Coast from Texas to the Florida Panhandle.
Tuesday, June 2:
The tropical depression the National Hurricane Center (NHS) has been monitoring in the Gulf of Mexican is now a tropical storm by the name of Cristobal.
The NHC upgraded the storm's status Tuesday morning. The maximum winds are estimated to be 40 mph, with higher gusts.
The National Weather Service said it’s still too early to make any predictions about where the storm will go, but the Gulf Coast should prepare for rain. They’ll likely have a more substantial update tomorrow or Thursday, once the storm takes shape.
Monday, June 1:
The disturbance brewing in the Gulf of Mexico is now a tropical depression, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
Tropical Depression Three which is comprised of remnants of the season’s first tropical storm, Amanda, is currently situated near Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
If it strengthens into a tropical storm or hurricane, it will be named Cristobal. Monday marks the official first day of the 2020 hurricane season.
“Louisiana is still in play”
While the depression is still gathering energy near Mexico, where it goes is still uncertain, said Robert Ricks, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Slidell.
At the moment, weather models suggest the disturbance will meander in the Gulf for a couple more days before possibly heading into the middle of the Gulf of Mexico by Saturday. According to the latest forecast from the NHC, it is still “too soon to specify the location and timing of any potential impacts along the U.S. Gulf Coast” but that those areas should monitor progress throughout the week.
“Due to a great degree of uncertainty, Louisiana is still in play at this point,” Ricks said of the storm’s possible track. He said it likely won’t be until Wednesday that forecasters have a better sense of where the storm is going.
Regardless of where the storm makes landfall, Ricks emphasized, Louisianians should be prepared for many days of possibly heavy rain.
“I guess the main thing is not to focus on the circulation of the storm itself,” Ricks said. “The rain shield is going to be really large on this...We’re talking about many inches of rain, potentially, say from Wednesday through early next week.”
He said the swath of heavy rain could extend as far east as Mobile.
Ricks also emphasized that residents need to get their seasonal hurricane plans in place, because “we could use them early.” Monday marks the official start of the 2020 hurricane season.
Forecasters are expecting an “above average” hurricane season this year, according to an outlook published last month by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Historically, there are 12 named storms during hurricane season. According to NOAA, there’s a 60 percent chance the Atlantic will see 13-19 named storms this year.