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Tropical Storm Cristobal Causes Storm Surge on Gulf Coast

Tropical Storm Cristobal caused a storm surge on the Gulf Coast on Sunday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Cristobal was located at latitude 30.3°N and longitude 90.2°W which put it about 20 miles (30 km) north-northwest of New Orleans, Louisiana.  Cristobal was moving toward the north-northwest at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 993 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning remained in effect for the portion of the coast from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line in Florida.

The large circulation around Tropical Storm Cristobal blew water toward the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday.  The wind produced a rise in the water level from northwest Florida to southeast Louisiana.  The highest storm surges occurred along the coast of Mississippi and southeast Louisiana.  The water level reached 7.47 feet (2.28 m) at the Waveland Yacht Club in Mississippi.  The storm surge was 7.62 feet (2.32 m) at Shell Beach in Louisiana.  The storm surge covered coastal roads in Grand Isle, Louisiana and Biloxi, Mississippi.

The broad center of Tropical Storm Cristobal passed across the Lower Mississippi River delta on Sunday afternoon before it moved over New Orleans.  Cristobal began to weaken slowly as it moved inland.  Winds to tropical storm force were still occurring in the southeastern part of the circulation which was still over the Gulf of Mexico.  Most of the rain was falling in bands on the northern side of Tropical Storm Cristobal.  Locally heavy rain fell over Northwest Florida, Southwest Alabama, Southern Mississippi and Southeastern Louisiana.

Tropical Storm Cristobal will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Cristobal toward the north during the next several days.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Cristobal will move over Louisiana and Arkansas on Monday.  Cristobal will continue to weaken slowly as it moves farther inland.  Tropical Storm Cristobal will drop locally heavy rain over parts of Mississippi, eastern Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri.  Flood Watches have been issued for some of those areas.

Large Tropical Storm Cristobal Churns Toward Louisiana

Large Tropical Storm Cristobal churned toward the coast of Louisiana on Saturday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Cristobal was located at latitude 26.2°N and longitude 90.2°W which put it about 200 miles (320 km) south of Grand Isle, Louisiana.  Cristobal was moving toward the north at 12 m.p.h. (19 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 993 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Intracoastal City, Louisiana to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line in Florida including Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.

The circulation around Tropical Storm Cristobal continued to be very large.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 250 miles (400 km) to the east of the center of Cristobal.  A thunderstorm in a rainband on the eastern periphery of the circulation around Tropical Storm Cristobal produced a tornado near Orlando, Florida.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 160 miles (260 km) in the western half of the circulation.  The winds were blowing at less than tropical storm force near the center of circulation.  The center passed just to the west of NOAA buoy 42001 on Saturday evening.  The buoy measured a surface pressure of 29.34 inches (993.8 mb).  More thunderstorms appeared to be forming north and south of the center of circulation on Saturday night.

Tropical Storm Cristobal will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 12 to 18 hours.  Cristobal will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C.  It will move under the western side of an upper level ridge.  The ridge will produce southerly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear but the the shear will not be great enough to prevent intensification.  Tropical Storm Cristobal will strengthen on Sunday.  If thunderstorms consolidate around the center of circulation, then there is a chance that Cristobal could strengthen into a hurricane.

Tropical Storm Cristobal will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system on Sunday.  The high will steer Cristobal toward the north.  A ridge in the middle troposphere will move north of Tropical Storm Cristobal later on Sunday.  The ridge will turn Cristobal toward the north-northwest.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Cristobal will approach the coast of Louisiana on Sunday afternoon.  The center of Cristobal could make landfall between Grand Isle and Morgan City.

Tropical Storm Cristobal will bring gusty winds to Northwest Florida, Southwest Alabama, Southern Mississippi and Southeastern Louisiana.  Those winds will push water toward the coast.  A storm surge of 1 to 4 feet (0.3 to 1.3 meters) will be possible.  The water level could rise 3 to 6 feet (1 to 2 meters) in parts of southeastern Louisiana.  Areas outside of levee protection systems could go under water.  Tropical Storm Cristobal will drop heavy rain over parts of southern Mississippi and Southeastern Louisiana.  Flash Flood Watches have been issued for those regions.

Tropical Storm Cristobal Slowly Strengthens

Tropical Storm Cristobal slowly strengthened on Saturday morning.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Cristobal was located at latitude 24.2°N and longitude 90.1°W which put it about 345 miles (555 km) south of the Mouth of the Mississippi River.  Cristobal was moving toward the north at 12 m.p.h. (19 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 994 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Intracoastal City, Louisiana to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line in Florida.

Although Tropical Storm Cristobal still did not exhibit the typical structure of a tropical storm, the circulation around it was more organized on Saturday morning.  A band of showers and thunderstorms wrapped around the western and southern sides of the center of circulation.  The strongest winds were occurring in a part of this band about 100 miles (160 km) south of the center of Cristobal.  A few thunderstorms formed just to the west of the center of circulation.  The structure of the wind field around Tropical Storm Cristobal was still asymmetrical.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 240 miles (390 km) to the east of the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force only extended out 140 miles (220 km) on the western side of Cristobal.

Tropical Storm Cristobal will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  Cristobal will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C.  It will move under the western side of an upper level ridge.  The ridge will produce southerly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds will produce some vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be great enough to prevent intensification.  The flow around the ridge will enhance upper level divergence to the northeast of Cristobal.  Enhanced upper level divergence could pump away enough mass to allow the surface pressure to decrease.  Tropical Storm Cristobal will strengthen during the next 24 hours.  If more thunderstorms form close to the center of circulation and an inner core develops, then there is a chance Cristobal could intensify into a hurricane.

Tropical Storm Cristobal will move around the western side of a subtropical high pressure system.  The high will steer Cristobal toward the north during the next 18 to 24 hours.  A ridge in the middle levels will move north of Tropical Storm Cristobal on Sunday afternoon.  That ridge could force Cristobal to move toward the north-northwest for a few hours.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Cristobal could approach the coast of Louisiana on Sunday afternoon.

The large circulation around Tropical Storm Cristobal means that it will bring gusty winds to Northwest Florida, Southwest Alabama, Southern Mississippi, and Southeast Louisiana.  Those winds will push water toward the coast and they will cause a storm surge on the northern Gulf Coast.  The water level could rise 1 to 4 feet (0.3 to 1.3 meters) along the coast.  The storm surge could be 3 to 6 feet (1 to 2 meters) in parts of southeast Louisiana.  Areas outside levee systems could go under water.  Tropical Storm Cristobal will also drop heavy rain over southern Mississippi and southeastern Louisiana.  Fresh water flooding could occur.  Flood Watches have been issued for parts of those regions.

Tropical Storm Cristobal Moves Toward Louisiana

Tropical Storm Cristobal moved toward Louisiana on Friday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Cristobal was located at latitude 22.7°N and longitude 90.1°W which put it about 440 miles (705 km) south of the Mouth of the Mississippi River.  Cristobal was moving toward the north at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 998 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line in Florida including Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Intracoastal City to Morgan City, Louisiana.

Tropical Storm Cristobal strengthened slowly after the center of circulation moved over the southern Gulf of Mexico.  Cristobal moved under the western side of an upper level ridge.  The flow around the ridge created upper level divergence which pumped away mass and caused the surface pressure to decrease by several millibars.  Cristobal strengthened back to a tropical storm when the wind speed increased in response to the decrease in pressure.  The distribution of thunderstorms and the wind field around Tropical Storm Cristobal remained asymmetrical.  The strongest rainbands wrapped around the eastern and northern sides if the circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 240 miles (390 km) on the eastern side of Cristobal.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 140 miles (220 km) northwest of the center of circulation.  The winds in the southwestern part of the circulation were mostly below tropical storm force.

Tropical Storm Cristobal will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  Cristobal will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C.  It will continue to move under the western side of the upper level ridge.  The ridge will produce southerly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, which will inhibit intensification.  However, the ridge will continue to create upper level divergence which will support intensification.  Tropical Cyclone Cristobal will strengthen on Saturday.

Tropical Storm Cristobal will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Cristobal toward the north during the next 24 to 36 hours.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Cristobal will approach the coast of Louisiana on Sunday afternoon.

The circulation around Tropical Storm Cristobal is large and winds to tropical storm force will reach the coast around the northern Gulf of Mexico several hours before the center makes landfall.  Cristobal will bring gusty winds to the portion of the coast from Northwest Florida to Southeast Louisiana on Sunday.  Those winds will blow water toward the coast and they will cause a storm surge of 1 to 4 feet (0.3 to 1.3 meters) in many locations.  The water could rise by 3 to 6 feet (1 to 2 meters) in some locations.  Tropical Storm Cristobal will also drop heavy rain over parts of Northwest Florida, Southwest Alabama, Southern Mississippi and Southeast Louisiana.  Flood Watches have been issued for some of those areas.

Tropical Depression Cristobal Moves North, Watches Issued for U.S. Gulf Coast

Tropical Depression Cristobal began to move toward the north on Friday morning and watches were issued for parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Depression Cristobal was located at latitude 20.0°N and longitude 89.9°W which put it about 40 miles (65 km) east of Campeche, Mexico.  Cristobal was moving toward the north at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1000 mb

A Tropical Storm Watch was issued for the portion of the U.S. Gulf Coast from Intracoastal City, Louisiana to the border between Alabama and Florida including Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.  The government of Mexico issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the portion of the coast from Punta Herrero to Rio Lagartos.

The circulation around Tropical Depression Cristobal exhibited more organization on Friday morning.  Bands of strong thunderstorms wrapped around the eastern and northern portions of the circulation.  Bands in the southern and western sides of Cristobal still consisted primarily of shower and lower clouds.  The center of circulation was still over the Yucatan peninsula and there were not a lot of thunderstorms close to the center.

Tropical Depression Cristobal will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 48 hours.  Cristobal will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C.  It will move under the western side of an upper level ridge.  The ridge will produce southerly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be large enough to prevent intensification.  Tropical Depression Cristobal will strengthen into a tropical storm during the next 24 hours.

Tropical Depression Cristobal will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Cristobal toward the north during the next 36 to 48 hours.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Depression Cristobal could approach the coast of Louisiana on Sunday afternoon.  Cristobal is likely to be a tropical storm when it approaches the northern Gulf Coast but there is a slight chance it could be a hurricane at that time.

Tropical Storm Cristobal will bring gusty winds to the north central Gulf Coast.  Those winds will push water toward the shore and they will generate a storm surge along the coast.  Many places could experience a rise in the water level of 1 to 4 feet (0.3 to 1.3 meters).  In some locations the water level could rise 4 to 6 feet (1.3 to 2.0 meters).  Rainbands on the northern and eastern sides of Cristobal could drop heavy rain.  Flood Watches have been issued for parts of southern Louisiana and southern Mississippi.

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are scheduled to fly into Tropical Depression Cristobal on Friday evening.  Their observations should provide important information about the circulation around Cristobal.

Tropical Depression Cristobal Meanders over the Yucatan

Tropical Depression Cristobal meandered over the Yucatan peninsula on Thursday. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Depression Cristobal was located at latitude 17.8°N and longitude 90.4°W which put it about 145 miles (235 km) south of Campeche, Mexico.  Cristobal was moving toward the east at 3 m.p.h. (5 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1000 mb.

Tropical Depression Cristobal weakened on Thursday while the circulation meandered over the Yucatan peninsula.  Winds speeds gradually diminished because much of the circulation of Cristobal was over land.  Bands in the western half of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  There were still strong thunderstorms in bands in the eastern half of the circulation.  Some of those bands were dropping heavy rain over the Yucatan peninsula, northern Belize and northern Guatemala.

Tropical Depression Cristobal will move around the western end of a high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea during the next several days.  The high will steer Cristobal toward the north.  On its anticipated track Tropical Depression Cristobal will move over the southern Gulf of Mexico on Friday.  Cristobal could approach the coast around the northern Gulf of Mexico on Sunday.

Tropical Depression Cristobal will move into an environment somewhat favorable for intensification when it moves over the Gulf of Mexico.  Cristobal will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  It will move under the western side of an upper level ridge.  The ridge will produce southerly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds will cause moderate vertical wind shear.  The wind shear will be large enough to slow intensification but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent strengthening of Cristobal.  Tropical Depression Cristobal is likely to intensify back into a tropical storm over the Gulf of Mexico.

Tropical Storm Cristobal could approach the coast of Louisiana on Sunday.  Watches could be issued for portions of the coast on Friday.

Tropical Depression One Forms East of Florida

Tropical Depression One formed east of Florida on Saturday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Depression One was located at latitude 28.4°N and longitude 78.6°W which put it about 125 miles (200 km) east of Melbourne, Florida.  The depression was moving toward the north-northeast at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1008 mb.

A Tropical Storm Watch was issued for the portion of the coast from Surf City to Duck, North Carolina including Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.

Surface observations and data from aircraft reconnaissance indicated that a distinct low pressure system formed east of Florida on Saturday and the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Tropical Depression One.  More thunderstorms developed near the center of circulation.  Storms near the center began to generate upper level divergence which pumped mass away to the east of the depression.  The strongest winds were occurring in the inner part of the circulation, which was consistent with the typical structure of a tropical cyclone.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were developing.  The strongest bands were in the eastern half of the circulation.

Tropical Depression One will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next several days.  The depression will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 25°C.  An upper level trough over the eastern Gulf of Mexico and an upper level ridge east of Florida will interact to produce southerly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification.  Tropical Depression One will strengthen into a tropical storm.

The upper level trough and upper level ridge will steer Tropical Depression One toward the north-northeast during the next 36 to 48 hours.  On its anticipated track Tropical Depression One will approach the coast of North Carolina on Monday.  It will be a tropical storm by that time.  It will bring gusty winds and heavy rain to parts of the coast.  Wind blowing water toward the coast will cause the water level to rise and there will be erosion of the beaches.

Disturbance South of Florida Keys

A disturbance south of the Florida Keys is currently designated at Invest 90L.  The disturbance could develop into a tropical or subtropical cyclone during the next few days.  At 8:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Invest 90L was located at latitude 23.9°N and longitude 81.2°W which put it about 55 miles (85 km) south of Marathon, Florida.  It was moving toward the east-northeast at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1013 mb.

A small trough in the middle troposphere moved over a stationary front south of the Florida Keys on Thursday.  Satellite images and radar loops detected rotation in the middle troposphere.  There was a broad counterclockwise rotation south of the Keys and radar loops also revealed several small counterclockwise rotations within the broader mid-level circulation.  However, there did not appear to be a distinct center of circulation with lower pressure at the surface.

Invest 90L is forecast to move toward the northeast during the next several days.  It will move into an environment more favorable for development into a tropical or subtropical cyclone.  Invest 90L will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C.  There will be an upper level trough over the eastern Gulf of Mexico, but a small upper level ridge will develop east of Florida.  The combination of the upper level trough and the upper ridge will produce a region of upper level divergence east of Florida.  The upper level divergence will pump mass away and the surface pressure will decrease in that area.  A surface low pressure system is likely to form on Friday or Saturday.  The National Hurricane Center is indicating that there is an 80% probability of the formation of a tropical or subtropical cyclone.  A reconnaissance plane is tentatively scheduled to investigate the system on Friday afternoon, if necessary.

Possible Development Near the Bahamas

A low pressure system could develop near the Bahamas on Friday or Saturday.  The National Hurricane Center is indicating that there is a 70% probability that the low pressure system could develop into a subtropical cyclone.

A stationary frontal boundary extends from south of Florida across the Bahamas.  A small upper level trough called a shortwave over the southwestern U.S. will move east toward the stationary front later this week.  When the upper level trough approaches the stationary front, a low pressure system is likely to develop near the Bahamas.  If thunderstorms develop near the center of the low pressure system, then it could exhibit the structure of a tropical or subtropical cyclone.  The Sea Surface Temperature near the Bahamas is near 26°C.  So, the water will be warm enough to support the development of a tropical cyclone.  However, the winds blowing around the upper level trough will cause moderate vertical wind shear.  The wind shear may be strong enough to inhibit the development of a tropical cyclone.  However, the shear may not be strong enough to prevent the development of a subtropical cyclone.  If the low pressure system strengthens into a subtropical storm, it will be designated Subtropical Storm Arthur.

Tropical Storm Nestor Causes Severe Weather in Florida

Tropical Storm Nestor caused severe weather in Florida.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Nestor was located at latitude 29.7°N and longitude 85.1°W which put it about 5 miles (10 km) west of Apalachicola, Florida.  Nestor was moving toward the east-northeast at 23 m.p.h. (38 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 999 mb.

A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Ochlockonee River to Suwanee River, Florida.

Tropical Storm Nestor began a transition to an extratropical cyclone as it approached the coast of Florida.  Strong westerly winds in the middle latitudes created significant vertical wind shear.  In addition, the circulation around Nestor pulled cooler, drier air into the western and southern parts of the tropical storm.  The effects of the upper level westerly winds and cooler, drier air caused the strongest rising motion to occur in bands well to the east of the center of circulation.  The strongest thunderstorms occurred in bands southeast of the low level center.

The vertical wind shear was strong enough that rotation developed in some of the thunderstorms over the Florida Peninsula.  Several tornado warnings were issued on Friday night because radar indicated likely rotation.  There were reports of property damage due to possible tornadoes in Cape Coral in Lee County, near Winston in Polk County, in Plant City in Hillsborough County and in Seminole in Pinellas County.

The center of Tropical Storm Nestor officially made landfall on St. Vincent Island west of Apalachicola on Saturday afternoon.  Many of the stronger thunderstorms had moved east of Florida by Saturday afternoon.  There were still bands of showers and thunderstorms moving over the Florida Peninsula.  Flow diverging from a surface high pressure system centered over the northeastern U.S. was converging with the flow around the northern part of Tropical Storm Nestor.  The convergence was generating a large area of rising motion.  Showers and thunderstorms were occurring over northern Florida, southeastern Alabama, southern Georgia and parts of South Carolina.

Tropical Storm Nestor will move toward the northeast as an extratropical cyclone during the next several days.  On its anticipated track the center of Nestor will move across southern Georgia and near the coast of South Carolina and North Carolina.  The low pressure system will continue to drop rain over those areas.  There has been below normal rainfall over the southeastern U.S. in recent weeks.  So, the rain is unlikely to cause flooding in most places.