Today’s rains are just the beginning. Tropical Storm Cristobal is nearly stalled in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, bringing life-threatening flooding to parts of Central America and Mexico, weather forecasters said.
Another 10 to 20 inches of rain, with locally higher amounts, is expected the next several days in Yucatan, Chiapas, Tabasco, Veracruz, Campeche and Quintana Roo as well as El Salvador and Guatemala.
A tropical depression that formed Monday afternoon in the Bay of Campeche was upgraded by the U.S. National Hurricane Center to Tropical Storm Cristobal at midday today.
By early afternoon, Cristobal was centered about 150 miles west of Campeche, drifting southwestward at less than 5 mph.
A tropical storm warning has been posted along the Mexican coast from Campeche westward to Puerto de Veracruz.
Cristobal is likely to linger in the Gulf for several days, lacking any significant steering winds aloft.
This weekend, however, it’s expected to be drawn northward, bringing Cristobal near the northern or western U.S. Gulf Coast by Sunday or Monday, anywhere from the Texas coast to the Florida Panhandle.
Gulf water temperatures are warmer than average, but aren’t as warm as midsummer and deep heat content is lacking in the western Gulf. These factors should keep a lid on the intensification of Cristobal as it nears the U.S. Gulf Coast, said the National Weather Center.
Cristobal is now the record-earliest third named Atlantic storm, beating out Tropical Storm Colin from June 5, 2016.