CRISTOBAL shaping up to head for Louisiana coast

Friday 5th June 2020

The tropical depression which was tropical storm CRISTOBAL, and once seaborne, will regain cyclone strength, is currently over the Yucatan peninsula still producing severe rainfall across southern Mexico and central America. Whilst a return to sea and track towards Louisiana is inevitable, there has been some wind shear overnight which has wobbled the system, but only slightly.

This is likely to relaunch and strengthen today with most of the associated strong squalls to the north and east of the nominal centre. This is expected to reach tropical storm intensity before crossing the offshore lease areas and is expected to have a significant windfield radius. This is likely to fan out muck and filth along the Gulf coast from Louisiana east into Alabama, less so for Texas. Despite some signs of weakening beyond expectation as it wavered over Yucatan, storm response plans are in effect across the Gulf coast where the first squalls will fan out tomorrow morning. Development and track are still unclear, but a hurricane severity index rating of 7 would seem to be in general agreement (4 for size and 3 for intensity), which seems conservative to me but none are expecting hurricane intensity. Nevertheless, a broad windfield of up to 280 miles is expected and heavy rain, storm surge and some isolated flooding is likely along the Gulf coast.

Meanwhile,  has piped up in the south eastern Caribbean close to Trinidad, creating line squalls across the Lesser Antilles. This is expected to continue heading west across the southern Caribbean, currently at around 10 knots without further development, at least for the next few days.

Stand by for tropical storm force conditions across the central Gulf Of Mexico.