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Tropical storm threat for Acadiana possible this weekend

Posted at 5:52 PM, Jun 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-02 19:40:14-04

While Tropical Storm Cristobal will meander and interact with land in the Bay of Campeche through Thursday, it appears that the system, in some way shape or form, will make a run for the Northern Gulf Coast, and by today's models, threaten Louisiana and Acadiana by Sunday.

While much uncertainty of the development or perhaps lack of it over the next few days, models and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) are all indicating that at the very least, there may be a tropical storm threat to our area Sunday into Monday.

It is way too early to pin down the wind, rain, tide impacts and timing to our area, but based on storm movement and intensity forecasts, tropical storm conditions could be nearby as early as Sunday, and more likely Sunday night into early Monday...and some of the more reliable models are even suggesting pressures low enough to be close to hurricane territory.

We do know this, especially in the near term, that an upper level trough of low pressure will advance out of Texas and sweep across Louisiana Wednesday enhancing our prospects of showers and storms for a day, perhaps two.

The upper trough later in the week will try to draw moisture and the tropical system northward beginning Friday.

The NHC brings Cristobal to near the Louisiana Coast Sunday, with greatest impacts possibly Sunday night into Monday, but a lot can happen and will likely change when we are talking a storm 5-6 days.

Nonetheless, residents of Louisiana and Acadiana should prepare for the possibility of minimally, a tropical storm, and perhaps a hurricane making landfall late Sunday.

This would bring a significant elevated tide/storm surge threat to our coast and perhaps winds strong enough to produce scattered power outages come Sunday night.

Fortunately at this point the system does not appear to stall across the region, but rainfall amounts of 5-15" over a period of a couple of days is certainly possible. Improving conditions may return as early as Tuesday, but with some elevated chance of storms still quite possible.

We really won't know what kind of system we may be up against and where the mostly likely landfall will be until this system gains ground away from the Bay Campeche and land Friday.

It should be noted that most models, including the reliable Euro Model shown below, have tropical impacts likely in the state and Acadiana Sunday into Monday.

While the NHC is citing some increased shear that could inhibit storm intensity of Cristobal as it approaches the Northern Gulf Coast this weekend, several models are sporting pressures at landfall close enough to be a Category 1 hurricane.

The system is expected to steered in the near-term by the Central American Gyre (a large cyclonic flow...thus the meandering)...but then the aforementioned trough will begin to draw the system toward the Northern Gulf Coast through Saturday.

Thereafter, a ridge of high pressure may build to our northeast behind the upper trough, which could not only steer the storm back to the west or northwest, scraping a good part of the Louisiana Coast, but could also allow for some modest intensification prior to landfall, all with greater impacts in Acadiana.

The NHC stated Tuesday afternoon that there is much uncertainty in the 4 and 5 day forecast period...so do expect changes.

But if today's forecast remotely pans out, expect coastal flooding, enough wind to do some damage and cause power outages, and the threat of 5-15" of rain in spots.

After Wednesday of this week the weather will be typical for early June with the risk of a few scattered afternoon showers and storms through Saturday.

See the KATC 10 Day Forecast for the latest.

Meanwhile, it's a good time to get your hurricane supplies and plan in place should something significant head our way this weekend, and stay with KATC, katc.com and social media channels for the latest on this storm.

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