NOAA’s National Hurricane Center issued a Public Advisory at 11 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Friday, June 5, 2020, due to the presence of Tropical Depression Cristobal (formerly Tropical Storm Cristobal, Tropical Depression 3, and Invest 93L) which broke the record for the earliest third-named tropical storm in the history of the Atlantic Hurricane Basin.
Tropical Depression Cristobal is located 40 miles east of Campeche, Mexico, and is moving to the north at 12 mph (19 km/h).
NHC forecasters say that this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days.
On the National Hurricane Center forecast track, the center of the tropical cyclone will move back over the southern Gulf of Mexico this evening, over the central Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, and be near the northern Gulf of Mexico coast Sunday evening.
Spaghetti models are in stronger agreement that the tropical cyclone will head northward towards Louisiana.
An upper-level trough to the west and a mid-level ridge to the east of Cristobal are contributing to the deep southerly flow that should steer the cyclone generally northward for the next few days. All of the global computer models forecast this to occur, though the exact forward speed at which Cristobal will move is more uncertain.
Overall, the 6Z guidance shows the tropical cyclone moving northward at a slightly faster pace and the official NHC track forecast has been adjusted accordingly.
The NHC track now slightly lags the consensus but is still faster than the European model (ECMWF) and the ECMWF ensemble mean.
Tropical Depression Cristobal’s maximum sustained winds are 35 mph (55 km/h), with higher gusts.
According to the National Hurricane Center, some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours and Cristobal is expected to regain tropical storm strength later today. Some additional strengthening is forecast thereafter.
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect from Indian Pass to Arepika, Florida; Grand Isle, Louisiana to Ocean Springs, Mississippi; and Lake Borgne.
A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, in the indicated locations during the next 48 hours.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from Intracoastal City, Louisiana to the Alabama/Florida border; Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas; and from Punta Herrero to Rio Lagartos, Mexico.
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours. Tropical storm conditions in the watch area in Mexico could occur through this afternoon.
NOAA forecasts an ‘above-normal’ 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season which runs from June 1 through November 30.