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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 Barry Strengthens South of Louisiana

Tropical Storm Barry strengthened south of Louisiana on Friday morning.  Hurricane Hunters flying into Barry found that the maximum sustained wind speed had increased to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Barry was located at latitude 28.2°N and longitude 90.4°W which put it about 115 miles (185 km) south-southeast of Morgan City, Louisiana.  Barry was moving toward the west-northwest at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 998 mb.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from Intracoastal City to Grand Isle, Louisiana. Hurricane Watches have been issued for the portions of the coast from the Mouth of the Mississippi River to Grand Isle, Louisiana and from Intracoastal City to Cameron, Louisiana. Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for the portions of the coast from the Mouth of the Pearl River to Grand Isle, Louisiana and from Intracoastal City to Cameron, Louisiana. A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the portion of the coast from the Mouth of the Pearl River to the Mississippi/Alabama border. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas and New Orleans.

The circulation around Tropical Storm Barry exhibited greater organization on Friday morning.  Thunderstorms developed in a band around the southern side of the center of circulation.  More thunderstorms also formed in bands that stretched around the western, southern and eastern sides of the circulation.  Bands in the northern portion of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds, although there were some thunderstorms in the parts of those bands over land.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 170 miles (280 km) from the center of circulation.  Storms just south of the center were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the west of Tropical Storm Barry.  The removal of mass allowed the surface pressure to decrease and it was down to 998 mb on Friday morning.

Tropical Storm Barry will move through an environment that is some what favorable for intensification.  Barry will move south of a narrow upper level ridge that stretches from east Texas to south Alabama.  The ridge will produce northeasterly winds which will cause some vertical wind shear.  The shear is one of the reasons why there are fewer thunderstorms in the northern part of the circulation.  Reconnaissance aircraft reported that the middle level center was a little to the south of the surface center.  The tilt of the circulation with height is also the result of the vertical wind shear.  However, the shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification.  Tropical Storm Barry will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30.5°C.  It will extract a lot of energy from the Gulf of Mexico.  Tropical Storm Barry is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane during the next 24 hours.

Tropical Storm Barry is moving around the southwestern part of a ridge of high pressure over the southeastern U.S.  The ridge will steer Barry slowly toward the west-northwest during the next few hours.  Barry will turn more toward the northwest later on Friday.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Barry will approach the coast of Louisiana late Friday night.  Barry is forecast to be a hurricane when it reaches the coast.  The broad circulation will cause mostly minor wind damage over a large area.  There could be widespread power outages.  Barry will also generate a storm surge of 6 to 9 feet (2 to 3 meters near where the center makes landfall.  Tropical Storm Barry will drop heavy rain when it moves slowly inland.  Flooding is a serious risk, since soils are nearly saturated and many creeks and rivers are already high.

Tropical Storm Gordon Forms, Causes Warnings for South Florida

Former Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven developed a distinct center of circulation on Sunday morning and the National Hurricane Center upgraded the system to Tropical Storm Gordon.  At 8:30 a.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Gordon was located at latitude 25.1°N and longitude 80.6°W which put it about 10 miles (15 km) west of Key Largo, Florida.  Gordon was moving toward the west-northwest at 16 m.p.h. (26 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 1009 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Golden Beach to Bonita Beach, Florida.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the Florida Keys from Craig Key to Ocean Reef including Florida bay.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from the Alabama-Florida border to Morgan City, Louisiana including Lake Pontchartrain.

The circulation of Tropical Storm Gordon became much better organized during the past 12 hours.  A distinct low level center of circulation formed and many more thunderstorms developed.  A C-MAN station on Fowey Rock, Florida reported sustained winds of 49 m.p.h. (80 km/h) supporting the designation as a tropical storm.  The circulation of Tropical Storm Gordon was still organizing.  More thunderstorms were developing in bands northeast of the center of circulation than in other parts of the tropical storm.  Those storms were beginning to generate upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the core of Gordon.

Tropical Storm Gordon will be moving through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 36 hours.  Gordon will be moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will be moving through a region where the upper level winds will be weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Gordon will continue to intensify and it could intensify more rapidly once the inner core becomes better organized.  There is a chance that Gordon could strengthen into a hurricane before it reaches the north coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Tropical Storm Gordon will move around the west end of a subtropical high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean.  The ridge will steer Gordon in  a general west-northwesterly direction.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Gordon will move away from South Florida later today.  Gordon could approach the north coast of the Gulf of Mexico late on Tuesday.  Locally heavy rain could cause floods in South Florida.  Tropical Storm Gordon could produce a storm surge of 6 to 9 feet (2 to 3 meters) along parts of the northern Gulf Coast.

Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven Causes Tropical Storm Watch for U.S. Gulf Coast

Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven caused the National Hurricane Center to issue a Tropical Storm Watch for a portion of the U.S. Gulf Coast on Sunday afternoon.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from the Alabama-Florida border to Morgan City, Louisiana including Lake Pontchartrain.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven was located at latitude 22.7°N and longitude 77.3°W which put it about 275 miles (445 km) east-southeast of Marathon, Florida.  It was moving toward the west-northwest at 15 m.p.h (24 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1012 mb.

Bands of showers and thunderstorms began to form in a tropical wave over the Bahamas and the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven in order to be able to issue the Tropical Storm Watch for the north coast of the Gulf of Mexico.  The circulation of Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven was still organizing.  A distinct low level center of circulation had not formed.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were developing and the bands were starting to revolve around the inner part of the weather system.  Thunderstorms were beginning to generate some upper level divergence.

Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven will be moving into an environment favorable for intensification.  It will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  An upper level ridge is forecast to develop over Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven.  If that occurs, then the upper level winds would be weak and there would be little vertical wind shear.  Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven is forecast to intensify into Tropical Storm Gordon.  If the system moves slowly enough, there is a chance it could strengthen into a hurricane before it reaches the Gulf Coast.

Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven in a general west-northwesterly direction.  On its anticipated track the system will move over the Florida Keys on Monday.  It will be over the eastern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday and the system could reach the northern Gulf Coast late on Tuesday or early on Wednesday.

Elsewhere over the tropical Atlantic, Tropical Storm Florence was moving quickly away from the Cabo Verde Islands.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Florence was located at latitude 17.4°N and longitude 34.6°W which put it about 700 miles (1125 km) west of the Cabo Verde Islands.  Florence was moving toward the west-northwest at 15 m.p.h. (24 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 1000 mb.