Talking the Tropics With Mike: “Cristobal” to make landfall on the Louisiana coast

Tropical storm & storm surge WARNING for parts of the Gulf Coast... heavy rain for Florida

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LOCAL - Jacksonville/NE Fl./SE Ga. impacts from “Cristobal”:

*** Virtually None - not directly ***

There will be tropical moisture “swinging” northward on the far eastern periphery of of Cristobal leading to heavy rain at times. Rainfall will average 2-5″ across the area with even a few half foot plus amounts. Winds out of the SE will increase some through the weekend leading to heightened rip current risk at area beaches.

BUT... true/direct impacts from Cristobal will occur to the west. If traveling west on I-10 along the Gulf Coast from the Fl. Panhandle to Pensacola to New Orleans to the upper Texas Coast, stay up to date on the latest forecasts & be prepared for tropical storm conditions into Monday. A tropical storm WARNING & storm surge WARNING have been posted from the Fl./Alabama border west through Central Louisiana. Storm surge will even be evident along the west coast of Fl. & the Panhandle due to the large, lopsided (heavily weighted to the east) circulation of Cristobal.

A strengthening Cristobal moved onshore of the state of Campeche in Mexico Wed. morning with winds near 60 mph. A very slow drift over Mexico caused weakening though the tropical cyclone maintained enough organization to fairly quickly regain tropical storm status. Building high pressure near the Bahamas stretching south to the Northern Caribbean has helped with the northward turn now with a landfall west of New Orleans late Sunday/Sunday night.

While the circulation envelope of Cristobal is strong, the western & SW side of Cristobal’s circulation is void of much convection due to a great deal of dry air & shear out of the W/SW. This dry air + shear should limit overall intensification or at least make the process of strengthening quite slow. There have been some attempts at banding developing around the circulation center Sunday morning.

So a tropical storm will impact the upper Texas coast & Louisiana Sunday-Monday. It looks like Louisiana will be the “target zone” into Monday. There will be an expanding wind field - especially to the east of the center so some wind, storm surge & heavy rain impacts will stretch as far east as the Fl. Panhandle. Heavy rain/flooding/an isolated tornado threat will then continue north with the remnants all the way into the mid Mississippi Valley.

There continues to be no direct threat to NE Fl./Jacksonville/SE Ga. There is a strong surge of tropical moisture well to the east of Cristobal for Jacksonville & surrounding areas leading to an uptick in t’storm activity & heavy rainfall but mostly independent of the direct center of Cristobal. Rainfall amounts will reach 3″+ through Monday for parts of NE Fl./SE Ga.

There are no other areas of concern right now across the Atlantic. Low pressure will develop this upcoming week over the Central Atlantic where some subtropical development will be possible in area east of Bermuda.

Another area to watch over the next 10 days or so might be the Caribbean &/or Gulf of Mexico yet again.

Atlantic dust:

2020 names..... “Crystobal” is next on the Atlantic list (names are picked at random by the World Meteorological Organization... repeat every 6 years... historic storms are retired (Florence & Michael last year) & Dorian is certain to be retired from the ’19 list....

East Atlantic:

Mid & upper level wind shear (enemy of tropical cyclones) analysis (CIMMS). The red lines indicate strong shear of which there is plenty across the Atlantic at the moment:

Water vapor imagery (dark blue indicates dry air):

Deep oceanic heat content is extreme over the NW Caribbean:

Sea surface temp. anomalies:

SE U.S. surface map:

Surface analysis centered on the tropical Atlantic:

Surface analysis of the Gulf:


Global tropical activity:

The active early 2020 hurricane season continues. Tropical storm “Arthur” formed in mid May (16th) east of Florida staying offshore over the Western Atlantic. On May 27th, tropical storm “Bertha” quickly formed just off the coast of S. Carolina moving ashore near Charleston within a few hours of being upgraded. And - now - Cristobal over the Gulf.

While not necessarily always true, recent history has shown tropical development in May has been followed by “active” seasons including U.S. landfalls:

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