Monday, June 8th 2020, 12:34 pm - Threats of heavy rain, isolated tornadoes, flooding and strong wind gusts will continue as Tropical Depression Cristobal treks further inland, picking up some steam before weakening to a subtropical low this week.
Cristobal -- the earliest third-named storm on record -- made landfall in southeastern Louisiana on Sunday evening and has since weakened to a tropical depression. It will continue to threaten flooding rains and isolated tornadoes as it moves further inland, with further strengthening still before it comes a extratropical low.
As of 10 a.m. CDT Monday, the depression has maximum sustained winds near 55 km/h with higher gusts. It is moving northwest near 24 km/h, which is expected to continue through the day before a northerly turn occurs tonight, followed by a faster north-northeast motion Tuesday and Wednesday.
On its current forecast track, the centre of Cristobal should move through northeastern Louisiana today, through Arkansas and eastern Missouri tonight and Tuesday and then will reach Wisconsin and the western Great Lakes Wednesday. While it has weakened, Cristobal is expected to strengthen some as it becomes an extratropical low Tuesday night and Wednesday.
Cristobal is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of 125 to 250+ mm across portions of the central and eastern Gulf Coast into the Lower Mississippi Valley, with isolated amounts of 380 mm possible. Meanwhile, rainfall totals of 50 to 100 mm, with local amounts to 150 mm, is expected across parts of the mid- and upper-Mississippi Valley and northern Plains.
"This rainfall has led to flash flooding and forecast widespread river flooding across portions of the central Gulf Coast into the Lower Mississippi Valley. Smaller streams across southeast Louisana and southern Mississippi have begun to rise and are forecast to crest mid-week. New and renewed significant river flooding is possible across the mid- and upper-Mississippi Valley," the NHC warns.
As well, isolated tornadoes are possible Monday across Mississippi, Alabama, southeastern Louisiana, eastern Arkansas, western Tennessee and southeastern Missouri.
Philip Klotzbach, a meteorologist at Colorado State University, says that this is the earliest date for an Atlantic third-named storm to form since record-keeping began in 1851.
Experts at Colorado State University are predicting an above-average Atlantic hurricane season and cite the likely absence of El Niño as a primary factor.
Additionally, tropical and subtropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures are currently warmer than normal and are consequently also considered a factor favouring an active Atlantic hurricane season this year.
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center says there is a 60 per cent chance of an above-normal hurricane season, a 30 per cent chance of a near-normal season and only a 10 per cent chance of a below-normal season. The Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1 and ends on November 30.