As of 10 CDT Friday, Tropical Storm Cristobal has picked up forward speed and is moving north over the Yucatan peninsula at 12 mph with maximum sustained winds at around 45 mph, and minimum central pressure of 998 mb.
Heavy rain and the impacts from it, including mudslides and flash flooding, have hit parts of Mexico and Central America hard over the last several days. That will continue today and early tomorrow as the plume of rain sticks around. On the forecast track, the center will move back over the southern Gulf of Mexico this evening, over the central Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, and be near the northern Gulf of Mexico coast Sunday evening.
Here are the key messages and impacts for Cristobal from the National Hurricane Center:
1. Damaging and deadly flooding has already been occurring 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. Life-threatening storm surge is possible along the Florida Big Bend, in portions of southeastern Louisiana, and along the Mississippi coast within the next 48 hours, and a Storm Surge Watch has been issued for these areas. Residents in these locations should follow advice given by local emergency officials.
3. There is an increasing risk of tropical storm force winds beginning Sunday morning from Intracoastal City, Louisiana, to the Alabama/Florida border, including metropolitan New Orleans, and a Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for this area. These winds will arrive well in advance of and extend well east of Cristobal’s center.
4. Heavy rainfall will spread onto portions of the Gulf Coast, from east Texas to Florida, this weekend into early next week, with areas of flash flooding and rapid rises on smaller streams and rivers possible.
Right now, the forecast track takes Cristobal into Louisiana by late Sunday night or early Monday morning. Please keep tabs on the forecast through the weekend as we update you on potential impacts for us and the rest of the state.