Tropical Depression Cristobal Forecast Discussion

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WTNT43 KNHC 050836
TCDAT3

Tropical Depression Cristobal Discussion Number  15
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL032020
400 AM CDT Fri Jun 05 2020

Cristobal's structure has continued to degrade since the last 
advisory. Radar imagery from Sabancuy, Mexico shows little banding 
near the center of the cyclone, though substantial convection is 
still present in the northeast quadrant, over the Yucatan peninsula. 
Earlier ASCAT data showed winds of 25-30 kt over the southern Gulf 
of Mexico, and slightly stronger east-southeasterly winds over the 
western Caribbean Sea. The initial intensity remains 30 kt, but it 
should be noted that the highest wind speeds over land associated 
with the circulation of Cristobal are likely lower.

Cristobal is forecast to remain over land for another 12 to 18 
hours, and little change in strength is anticipated during that 
time. Once the system moves over the Gulf of Mexico, gradual 
strengthening still seems likely until Cristobal reaches the 
northern U.S. Gulf Coast, and the NHC intensity forecast is largely 
unchanged from the previous advisory.

The depression has completed a slow counter-clockwise loop and now 
appears to be heading north-northeastward near 6 kt. The initial 
position and motion are somewhat uncertain since the declining 
structure of the cyclone makes it difficult to pinpoint a center 
position at night. 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 models forecast this to occur, 
though the exact forward speed at which Cristobal will move is more 
uncertain. Overall, the 6Z guidance shows the cyclone moving 
northward at a slightly faster pace and the NHC track forecast has 
been adjusted accordingly. It now slightly lags the consensus but is 
still faster than the ECMWF and the ECMWF ensemble mean.

Regardless of its exact track and forward speed, Cristobal is 
expected to have a broad and asymmetric wind field as it approaches 
the northern Gulf coast. The strongest winds, highest storm surge, 
and heaviest rains could be well removed from the center of 
circulation. Therefore, it is important that users do not focus on 
the exact forecast path of the center of the cyclone. 

Key Messages:
1. Damaging and deadly flooding was already occurring in portions 
of Mexico and Central America. Cristobal is expected to produce 
additional extreme rainfall amounts through the end of the week. The 
heaviest additional rainfall is expected over far southern Mexico 
and portions of the Yucatan Peninsula, while also extending along 
the Pacific coast from Chiapas to Guatemala and El Salvador. This 
rainfall could cause widespread life-threatening flash floods and 
mudslides. Refer to products from your local weather office for more 
information.

2. Cristobal is forecast to re-emerge over the southern Gulf of
Mexico later today and move northward over the central and northern
Gulf of Mexico over the weekend. There is a risk of tropical storm
force winds this weekend from Louisiana to the western Florida
Panhandle and a risk of dangerous storm surge from Louisiana to the
Florida Big Bend. These hazards will arrive well in advance of and
extend well east of Cristobal's center. Storm surge and tropical
storm watches will likely be issued for a portion of the U.S. Gulf
Coast later today.

3. Heavy rainfall will spread into portions of the Gulf Coast from
east Texas to Florida this weekend into early next week, with areas
of flash flooding possible.


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT  05/0900Z 18.8N  90.1W   30 KT  35 MPH
 12H  05/1800Z 20.1N  90.1W   30 KT  35 MPH...INLAND
 24H  06/0600Z 22.0N  90.3W   35 KT  40 MPH...OVER WATER
 36H  06/1800Z 23.8N  90.4W   40 KT  45 MPH...OVER WATER
 48H  07/0600Z 25.7N  90.3W   45 KT  50 MPH...OVER WATER
 60H  07/1800Z 27.6N  90.4W   50 KT  60 MPH...OVER WATER
 72H  08/0600Z 29.6N  91.2W   45 KT  50 MPH...INLAND
 96H  09/0600Z 34.0N  92.5W   30 KT  35 MPH...INLAND
120H  10/0600Z 40.0N  90.0W   25 KT  30 MPH...INLAND

$$
Forecaster Zelinsky



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