CRISTOBAL strengthening but only likely to interest sailors and fish.

Tropical storm CRISTOBAL is now about 300 miles east of the Bahamas and heading north at little more than walking pace, which will allow further development. Observed wind speeds are being reported between 55 and 70 knots. The current hurricane severity index rating is 6 (3 for size and 3 for intensity) and a predicted maximum of 12 (6 for size and 6 for intensity) with a windfield radius at peak of 160 miles. The storm track has shifted to the east, thus the eastern seaboard dodges another bullet. Nonethelss, this is a wiry little brute of a storm and will reach hurricane intensity in around 36 hours as a category 1 but soon afterwards, will begin accelerating and thus cap any further development. This will only bully sailors and mildly inconvenience fish.

A cold front passing across the southern states has kick-started a small disturbance in the far north eastern Gulf of Mexico, producing limited showers and thunderstorms. As the front dissipates over the next day or two, the disturbance is expected to move southwest and then turn west, reaching the western Gulf of Mexico by Thursday and moving inland around Friday. The disturbance could potentially produce enhanced showers and thunderstorms with some gusty winds along its path through the Gulf of Mexico this week. The disturbance has only a very slight chance of developing into a tropical depression or weak tropical storm in the Gulf this week.

Disturbance twenty one is now about 750 miles north east of the Amazon delta and is westbound at 15 knots. This has beaten the odds and broken clear of the African dust cloud. Such determination should serve to warn that this may develop now that it is in wet air over warm water. This has however crept to the north of track which may indicate an Atlantic track. Stand easy ashore.