Tropical Storm Cristobal Drops Heavy Rain on Campeche

Tropical Storm Cristobal dropped heavy rain on Campeche on Wednesday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Storm Cristobal was located at latitude 18.3°N and longitude 91.8°W which put it about 20 miles (35 km) south of Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico.  Cristobal was moving toward the southeast at 3 m.p.h. (5 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 995 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning remained in effect for the portion of the coast from Campeche to Coatzacoalcos,, Mexico.

The center of Tropical Storm Cristobal move slowly onto the coast of Mexico just west of Ciudad del Carmen on Wednesday.  The circulation around Cristobal began to weaken slowly as the center moved over land.  However, the large circulation around Tropical Storm Cristobal meant that a significant portion of the tropical storm was still over water.  That allowed Cristobal to extract energy from the Bay of Campeche to support its circulation.

A weather radar at Sabancuy, Mexico showed that the circulation around Tropical Storm Cristobal remained well organized.  Strong bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center of Cristobal.  The bands were dropping heavy rain over parts of Campeche and flooding was likely in some areas that received persistent heavy rain.

Tropical Storm Cristobal will be near the center of a larger counterclockwise circulation sometimes called a Central American Gyre (CAG) during the next 24 to 36 hours.  The steering currents are weak at the center of the CAG and it will likely cause Cristobal to move in a slow counterclockwise loop on Thursday.  The CAG will contract around Tropical Storm Cristobal during the next day or so.  A high pressure system over the western North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea will start to steer Cristobal toward the north on Friday.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Cristobal could approach the north coast of the Gulf of Mexico by late in the upcoming weekend.

Tropical Storm Cristobal will weaken slowly while the center is over land.  It could weaken to a tropical depression on Thursday.  However, Cristobal will continue to drop heavy rain over Campeche and parts of the Yucatan peninsula.  Very serious flooding could result from the heavy rainfall.  Tropical Storm Cristobal is likely to strengthen once the center of circulation moves back over the Gulf of Mexico on Friday.