BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The National Hurricane Center’s latest update says the United States is likely to deal with Tropical Storm Cristobal in just days.
From the NHC: Cristobal continues to move over land and is passing a short distance south of Ciudad del Carmen, where tropical storm force winds, at least in gusts, have been reported. The current intensity estimate assumes only a very slow weakening rate and maximum winds are set at 45 kt for this advisory. Since the system has a large circulation, the weakening should continue to be at a slow rate and the cyclone is expected to become a tropical depression by late Thursday.
Once the center re-emerges over the Gulf of Mexico, which is forecast to happen on Friday, re-intensification should begin. However, the model guidance currently suggests that the atmospheric environment over the Gulf will not be very conducive for strengthening. The official intensity forecast is similar to the previous one, but is at the high end of the guidance suite.
As has been noted, however, there is significant uncertainty as to how strong Cristobal will be when it approaches the northern Gulf coast. This is due to the limitations of predicting tropical cyclone intensity change. The storm continues to move southeastward quite slowly, or 135/3 kt. Cristobal should move in a partial cyclonic loop, and remain over land, while embedded within a broad gyre over Central America and eastern Mexico. Later in the forecast period, an increase in southerly flow is likely to cause the system to move back over water and approach the northern Gulf coast this weekend.
The official track forecast follows the dynamical model consensus TVCA. Key Messages:
1. Damaging and deadly flooding has already occurred in portions of Mexico and Central America. Cristobal is expected to produce additional extreme rainfall amounts through the end of the week. The heaviest additional rainfall is expected over far southern Mexico and portions of the Yucatan Peninsula, while also extending along the Pacific coast from Chiapas to Guatemala and El Salvador. This rainfall could cause widespread life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.
2. Even though Cristobal has made landfall, tropical storm conditions will continue along and near the coast of Mexico through Thursday, especially over western Campeche, eastern Tabasco, and northern Chiapas states.
3. Cristobal is forecast to re-emerge over the southern Gulf of Mexico Friday or Friday night and move northward over the central and northern Gulf of Mexico over the weekend. There is a risk of storm surge, heavy rainfall, and wind impacts beginning over the weekend along portions of the U.S. Gulf Coast from Texas to the Florida Panhandle.
While it is too soon to determine the exact location, timing, and magnitude of these impacts, interests in these areas should monitor the progress of Cristobal and ensure they have their hurricane plan in place.
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