Tropical Depression Three is quickly becoming more organized and is just below tropical storm strength at this point. Strengthening is expected to continue through the next 48 hours and should become a tropical storm later today. Cristobal would be its name. We’ll need to watch it closely as it will eventually make a turn to the north and head toward the US Gulf Coast. Most ensemble members have it moving toward the Texas and Louisiana coast, but we are still several days away before that point and the forecast path could change. At this point, the Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast is not out of the question.
Here is the latest from the National Hurricane Center:
SUMMARY OF 1000 AM CDT…1500 UTC…INFORMATION
ABOUT 140 MI…225 KM W OF CAMPECHE MEXICO
ABOUT 150 MI…240 KM NE OF COATZACOALCOS MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…35 MPH…55 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 270 DEGREES AT 3 MPH…6 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1005 MB…29.68 INCHES
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Campeche to Puerto de Veracruz
DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK
At 1000 AM CDT (1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Depression Three was located near latitude 19.5 North, longitude 92.6 West. The depression is moving toward the west near 3 mph (6 km/h). The depression is forecast to move slowly southwestward or southward this afternoon and tonight, and meander over the southern Bay of Campeche through late Wednesday. On the forecast track, the center of the cyclone is forecast to be near the coast of the southern Bay of Campeche tonight through Thursday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and the depression is likely to become a tropical storm today.
The minimum central pressure reported by an Air Force Hurricane Hunter plane is 1005 MB (29.68 inches).
Deadly flooding has already occurred in portions of Guatemala and El Salvador, and the depression is expected to bring additional heavy rainfall to portions of southern Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, which could cause life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides.
Tropical storm conditions are expected along the coast of Mexico where a tropical storm warning is in effect.
The system is forecast to begin moving northward across the Gulf of Mexico by this weekend. However, it is too soon to specify the location and timing of any potential impacts along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Interests in these areas should monitor the progress of this system through the week and ensure they have their hurricane plan in place as we begin the season.
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
RAINFALL: Tropical Depression Three is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 20 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 25 inches over parts of the Mexican states of Tabasco, Veracruz, and Campeche. The depression is also expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 15 inches over northern Chiapas and other Mexican states, Quintana Roo and Yucatan. Additional rainfall of 10 to 15 inches, with isolated amounts of 25 inches is expected along the Pacific coasts of Chiapas, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Some of these Pacific locations received 20 inches of rain over the weekend, and storm total amounts of 35 inches are possible. Rainfall in all of these areas may produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.
WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the coast within the warning area tonight.