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Tropical Storm Cristobal forms over southern Gulf of Mexico

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Posted at 7:11 AM, Jun 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-02 17:11:38-04

UPDATE:
Some interaction with land along the Campeche Coast likely near-term, but whatever emerges Friday will be making a move toward LA.

NHC limiting intensity due to land interactions next few days & possible shear in Northern Gulf when approaching our region.

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The National Hurricane Center says that Tropical Storm Cristobal has formed over the southern Gulf of Mexico.

In an 11:15 am update, the NHC said that observations from Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicated that the depression had strengthened into a Tropical Storm.

Maximum sustained winds are estimated to be at 40 mph with higher gusts, according to the NHC.

Tropical Storm Cristobal is currently moving southwest at 3 mph and is located about 150 miles WSW of Campeche, Mexico.

Max pressure was at 1004 mb.

An updated track will be issued by the National Hurricane Center at their next scheduled advisory.

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The 10:00 a.m. advisory has no major changes to the forecast track, NHC looks to be leaning closer to the EURO solution as outlined below. The GFS still can't be ruled out but it will be very telling to see if the GFS trends in the direction of the EURO or vice versa.

Tropical Depression 3 formed in the southern Gulf of Mexico Monday afternoon, and after several days stalled along the Yucatan Peninsula the storm will move into the central Gulf of Mexico.

There's model support now for Louisiana feeling the impacts from this storm by Sunday evening/Monday morning with some uncertainty remaining about how those impacts will be felt.

As of Tuesday there seems to be two likely scenarios that play out both of them similar looking but with a few key differences that could have major impacts on the type of weather Acadiana ultimately sees.

Scenario 1: The Euro Model is one of the more aggressive models in terms of the strength that Cristobal would ulitmately get to and brings a Category 1 storm across the Texas/Louisiana border by early Monday morning.

If this is how it pans out strong southerly winds for the weekend and a quick moving storm would produce storm surge across the the entire Louisiana coast line resulting in coastal flooding.

The storm doesn't appear to be too big and the worst impacts seem to be really confined to the center which would add some emphasis to where the landfall occurs.

A scenario such as the one suggested by the EURO could also provide plenty in the way of rain fall with 4-6" of rain possible and isolated areas that could see almost double those amounts as those rain bands swing through the area.

Scenario 2: The second scenario is played out by the GFS model which is similar to the EURO in it's initial movement but diverges in the strength of the system, and a few subtle changes to it's landfall.

This scenario is a little more favorable to Acadiana with a broader area of low pressure and a weaker tropical storm moving along the coastline through the weekend and into next week.

Rainy weather could be with us for a little longer if this is how it plays out but the heaviest rain seems to stay just offshore and to our east which could limit some of the impacts we feel locally.

While the rain totals would still be up a couple of inches the real heavy rain would be just to the southeast off shore sparing Louisiana the worst of the impacts, even if the rainy days last a little longer.

The offshore waters are will be very choppy and worked up but the storm surge wouldn't be as great as there wouldn't be the sustain strong winds from the south like there is with the EURO solution.

Intensity of storms is notoriously difficult to forecast, add to the fact that when these storms sit for several days like this one will do in the Bay of Campeche it makes it hard to predict how it behaves when it starts to move.

Small differences in both where it moves and when it moves can have pretty major impacts down the line, but this stall does buy us some time to watch and start getting prepared.

The EURO model has been fairly consistent over the last couple of days, and even the GFS has been hinting at a storm for a little while and it seems that they're both coming to some sort of agreement.

Confidence is growing that Acadiana will see some sort of impacts from this storm early next week, and while uncertainty remains in the intensity of those impacts it's best to air on the side of caution.

Keep up with the forecast as it evolves through the week and don't get fixated on one particular model run over another, instead look for the trends.

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