Tropical Storm Cristobal's US landfall expected in Louisiana, but Texas isn't totally in the clear

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The storm’s forecast cone continues on a northern track towards Louisiana, but Texas is not in the clear yet.

HOUSTON — Tropical Storm Cristobal formed in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday and is forecast to make landfall as a strong storm along the Louisiana coast early next week.

But Texas isn’t totally in the clear yet.

This week 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.

Cristobal is the earliest we have had the third named storm form on record, and records go back to 1851.

Where will Tropical Storm Cristobal go?

The official forecast track from the Hurricane Center takes the storm north across the central Gulf of Mexico, toward the upper Texas or Louisiana coast on Sunday afternoon.

RELATED: Tropical Storm Cristobal: Spaghetti models, forecast track and position

“10AM CDT Cone Update: No major track changes to the cone at this time. Houston still on the left hand fringe. Landfall appears to be very early Monday morning near Vermilion Bay, LA.” — KHOU 11 Meteorologist Blake Mathews

There is still a large amount of uncertainty as to what the exact track will be. Stay close to the forecast this week by watching the weather once in the morning and in the evening, so no one gets caught off guard if the storm decides to make a more direct path toward Houston/Galveston.

RELATED: NOAA predicts ‘busy’ Atlantic hurricane season with 3-6 major storms

RELATED: 2020 Atlantic hurricane season might be busiest in 10 years

How Strong? 

Intensity forecast are always the most challenging part of tropical cyclone forecasting. Cristobal is currently interacting with the land mass of southern Mexico which is keeping it weak for now. 

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 keep this system from developing into a full blown hurricane.

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