Tropical Storm Warnings Louisiana Coast To Florida
Cristobal Strengthens in South Central Gulf of Mexico
ABOUT 535 MI…860 KM S OF THE MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…40 MPH…65 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…N OR 10 DEGREES AT 13 MPH…20 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1000 MB…29.53 INCHES
Tropical Storm Cristobal has behaved according to plan so far. After spending the last 2 days inland the center has emerged back into the Gulf of Mexico where it quickly strengthened back to a tropical storm. Top winds are 40 mph and conditions are favorable for gradual strengthening as the storm moves northward and clears the Yucatan Peninsula overnight and Saturday.
The satellite picture and various loops continue to show a developed circulation that has become better defined today. Cristobal is moving northward at 13 mph and this means that the threat for the Central Gulf coast has increased enough where Tropical Storm Warnings are posted for the Louisiana coast from Morgan City east to the Florida Panhandle reaching the Walton County line.
Flash Flood Watches are also up for the Central Gulf Coast as well as most of Central and South Florida where heavy rains have been going on for the last several days. This is not directly related to the tropical storm but the large circulation of this system is bringing deep tropical moisture over Florida since midweek.
Rainfall forecast through Monday morning will be substantial and the bulk of what you see for the Central Gulf Coast will be Sunday into Monday. Rains continue over Florida as the map shows into the weekend and this is in addition to several inches that has already fallen in some places.
The Southern Mississippi Valley regional radar as well as the local radars are showing very little activity this evening along the Gulf Coast. Usually ahead of tropical systems you get a bit of subsidence (sinking dry air) which actually makes weather conditions quite nice before the clouds roll and the rains arrive. At least for now things are calm. You can see the rains off the Florida West Coast. Local radars below are bone dry for now.
LOCAL RADAR BATON ROUGE LA
Nothing has changed in the logic or the forecast track as weather models remain very consistent though the exact landfall spot is still in question. The Louisiana coast southwest of New Orleans appears reasonable. The heaviest rains will be from the center east. As far as strengthening is concerned conditions are somewhat favorable and we could see this system become a strong tropical storm before landfall.
There is an Air Force mission heading into the storm right now and we will see what they find when they get there in a few hours. The wind field with this system is rather large and that means a large area of gales. This is why we have watches up over a large area of the coastline.
MANY THANKS TO TROPICAL TIDBITS FOR THE USE OF MAPS
Please note that with regards to any severe weather, tropical storms, or hurricanes, should a storm be threatening, please consult your local National Weather Service office or your local government officials about what action you should be taking to protect life and property.