Tracking Tropical Storm Cristobal as it heads toward the US coast
Tropical Storm Cristobal is about 140 miles south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River and is headed north towards the U.S. coastline at 12 mph. The maximum sustained winds with Cristobal are currently 50 mph.
Tropical storm force winds are reaching parts of southern Louisiana this morning and conditions will continue to deteriorate through the day. A National Ocean Service station at the Southwest Pass to the Mississippi River in southern Louisiana recorded a wind gust of 62 mph this morning.
Cristobal brought seven reported tornadoes in central Florida yesterday including several visuals of a confirmed tornado moving through downtown Orlando.
A National Weather Service survey team will head to the Orlando metro area today to do surveys and determine exactly how many and how intense the tornadoes were.
On the current forecast track, Cristobal will approach the Louisiana coastline today with landfall likely later this evening, moving inland overnight into Monday and it is expected to make landfall as a tropical storm.
Tropical storm force winds extend up to 205 miles east of the center. Radar this morning is showing a large swath of rain currently falling from southern Louisiana to southeast Georgia.
Tropical Storm force winds are expected to overspread the northern Gulf Coast this morning and last through the day.
Additionally, just like Saturday, a few tornadoes will be possible in Cristobal’s bands through the day. The threat for tornadoes will be from eastern Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle.
High resolution forecast models are showing Cristobal likely coming ashore and making landfall sometime in the evening hours of Sunday in extreme southern Louisiana.
Locally, up to five feet of storm surge will be possible in Louisiana as Cristobal approaches today and moves inland early Monday. The peak surge for a given region will occur during the high tide cycles. The area most affected by the surge will be the regions immediately next to the coastline.
On Monday as the storm moves inland, Cristobal will likely weaken into a depression. The system will eventually track into Arkansas and Missouri bringing very heavy rainfall to that region.
Locally, up to a foot of rain is possible along the northern Gulf Coast, especially in extreme Southern Louisiana and Mississippi. It is important to note that a good portion of this region is swampland and can handle a good amount of rainfall.
However, excessive rainfall is still likely in parts of the more developed areas and therefore flash flooding could be a major concern in the next 24 to 36 hours.
As Cristobal moves inland, additionally heavy rain will spread into parts of Arkansas and Missouri on Monday and Tuesday. Locally 4 to 6 inches of rain will be possible in that time period, and widespread inland flash flooding will be possible. Additionally, this entire region could see river flooding due to the excessive rainfall.
ABC News – Daniel Manzo