Eye on the Gulf: Tropical Storm Cristobal forms in the Gulf

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The storm continues on a northern track.

HOUSTON — The National Hurricane Center says Tropical Storm Cristobal has formed in the Gulf late Tuesday morning and continues to move northward.

Yesterday was the official kick off to the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, and it’s already turning out to be busy.  We already had Arthur and Bertha form in the second half of May.

Where it came from

Tropical Storm Amanda from the eastern Pacific developed early Sunday and made landfall soon after in Guatemala and quickly weakened. The remnant low of Amanda will continue to move northward over central America and southern Mexico before emerging in the Bay of Campeche by Tuesday.

When it could become a tropical storm

If the storm strengthens enough, it would likely be Friday or Saturday of this week as it continues its trek into the central and northern Gulf of Mexico.

Where will it go?

Simply too early to know. Watch the weather with KHOU11 at least once a day and stay close to the forecast with the KHOU 11 app.

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There is strong model agreement that this system will move into the central and northern gulf. All areas from the Florida panhandle to Brownsville, Texas will need to monitor this system closely. A large envelope of models exists with many locations in between as possible areas that could see adverse weather.

The model above is the European ensembles. It’s ONE run of ONE model suite. Please do not focus on any one stretch of the coast.

How Strong

Simply too early to know. Please check back.

June cyclones are usually very weak and disorganized systems — still being sheared apart from the westerlies as the seasons continue to transition into Summer. However all systems are different.

Seen in the white box above is the Gulf of Mexico. If you look carefully there are a bunch of red lines crossing the gulf from Mexico to Florida. That’s an indication that the wind shear is very strong over the gulf which could help to keep this system weak, if it develops at all.

The current thinking is anything that would develop would on the weaker side of things with a depression or tropical storm the most likely outcome. Of course models show a wide range of possibilities so it’s important to keep watching.