Tropical Storm Cristobal sits just off the south Louisiana coastline with landfall expected Sunday mid afternoon, but the impacts from the storm are already starting to be felt across the Gulf Coast.
Peak winds around the center have been registered around 50 mph, with gusts of about 60 mph and showers stretching out mostly on the eastern half of the storm with heavy rain from New Orleans through the Florida Panhandle.
Tropical Storm force winds stretch a couple hundred miles out from the center of the storm and have started to get reported along the Louisiana coast as rain bands start pushing through New Orleans.
The latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center has changed very little over the last few days and there doesn't seem to be any surprises with the latest updates to their forecast.
Tropical Storm Warning will continue from Intracoastal City straight through to the Okaloosa/Walton County border (just east of the Destin, Fl) and does include the I-12 corridor and the New Orleans Metro.
This puts Acadiana on the more favorable side of the storm in regards to the most intense impacts, however, this does not mean that Acadiana will remain impact free as Cristobal moves northward.
Rain bands will start to sweep across Acadiana on mid-day Sunday and those same bands will pick up intensity by the evening, solid blanketing rainfall doesn't look likely instead it'll be periods of intense, heavy rain before a brief break.
The most concerning period looks to be Monday afternoon/evening when the system lifts to our north and could pull some training lines of rain across a small portion of Acadiana.
Unfortunately it'll be a narrow stretch of Acadiana that sees those rains which will be the most likely to cause some flooding, so don't get complacent in monitoring the weather on Monday.
This likely means several inches of rain across Acadiana over the next couple of days so expect the rivers and bayous to be running full and fast as we wrap up the weekend and start this upcoming work week.
There's not much consensus from the models all ranging from as low as less than an inch to as much as 4 inches for Acadiana, which is an indication of showers arriving mostly in the form of bursts and downpours from rain bands.
Safest bet would be to prepare for showers to produce somewhere between 1-4" with a few spots between 6-8" where some of the more persistent bands set up, particularly for some of the trailing bands on Monday.
Winds will be steady from the north through the day on Sunday and slowly increasing through the day, winds will be sustained around 20-25 mph, and gusts pushing 40-45 mph in some spots overnight Sunday.
Expect some of the more intense wind gusts to come along with some of those rainbands, and even after the showers clear up winds will stay strong around 20 mph and out of the south by Tuesday.
Those strong southerly winds could pose some issues for the coastline through the middle of the week by pushing the tides higher than normal, which in turn could produce some coastal flooding after the system has moved north.
Storm surge is a much bigger issue on the eastern half of the state than it will be along coastal Acadiana for Sunday, however it's not out of the question to see the tides running a few feet higher on Monday.
A Storm Surge Watch has been issued from Morgan City to the mouth of the Mississippi River, and a Storm Surge Warning will run from the mouth of the Mississippi to Ocean Springs, Ms.
A 2-4 ft surge is possible just east of the Morgan City to the river mouth, and a 3-5 ft surge for the eastern half of Louisiana straight through to Ocean Springs, Ms. and 1-3 ft surge from Mobile and the entirety of Florida's Gulf of Mexico coastline.
As the weather starts to deteriorate make sure that you stay with KATC both during and after the storm for necessary updates and the latest forecast information.
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