Westbound disturbances lining up now.

Disturbance twenty two is at a virtual standstill, sitting around 50 miles east of South Padre Island close to Brownsville. A slow westerly drift is expected during the next 24 hours, which should bring the system into southern Texas. During the past few hours, there has been an increase in squalls near the centre which, if continued, may result in this becoming a depression or a weak tropical storm later today.

Regardless as to whether or not the system becomes a depression or a storm, the impacts are expected to be scattered showers and thunderstorms over the next 24-36 hours with several inches of rain in some areas and squalls producing wind gusts as high as 50 knots off the Texas coast. The melee that is caused by disturbances twenty four and twenty one in the eastern Caribbean is only clear from aerial imagery.

Taking the easier report first, twenty one has survived independently and is curving off to the north west and not expected to develop.

Twenty four looks a little livelier as it heads west at 18 knots. The system is still expected to cross the Caribbean through the weekend with only a slight chance of becoming a tropical depression or weak tropical storm when it reaches the western Caribbean. However, the system should encounter more favourable conditions for development when it reaches the Bay of Campeche on Monday. The system is expected to move slowly once it clears the Yucatan peninsula thus providing some time for the disturbance to organise into a decent tropical cyclone. While the greatest risk appears to be to the coast of Mexico, it is far too soon to rule out any threat to Texas. Regardless as to where the system moves and how intense it becomes, rainfall could create a risk of flooding for Mexico and Texas due to the system's expected slow forward motion.

Hurricane CRISTOBAL is now 350 miles north-west of Bermuda and starting to race north-east at 24 knots. Current wind speeds of 70 gusting 85 knots are being reported which is almost at peak strength now, with an HSI rating of 16 (11 size / 5 intensity) and a fairly respectable windfield of tropical storm force up to a 290 mile radius. Wind shear is beginning to increase with a weakening trend beginning in 36 to 48 hours. Offshore south-eastern Newfoundland, sustained winds are forecast to peak near 50 knots tomorrow.

Disturbance twenty three is crossing the coast of Senegal now but slightly north of track so likely to hit sand. This will defer any chance of development for the time being. Wellington boots and umbrellas in southern Texas. Otherwise, stand easy.