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Tropical Storm Cristobal Forms Off Mexico, On Track To Impact Gulf Coast

National Hurricane Center

The Gulf Coast is on alert as a system that strengthened into Tropical Storm Cristobal on Tuesday morning meanders through the southwest Gulf of Mexico on a path toward Mexico.

As of 11:30 a.m., forecasters with the National Hurricane Center said the system became a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph with high gusts. It was located about 150 miles west-southwest of Campeche, Mexico.

It is moving to the southwest at only 3 mph and could dump 10-20 inches of rain across portions of Mexico, with isolated totals of 25 inches before moving into the Gulf of Mexico by this weekend.

“Conditions are favorable for gradual strengthening,” said Ray Hawthorne, meteorologist with the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network. “It’s crawling slowly westward, which means life-threatening flash flooding is likely over Mexico and Central America. The weak steering currents responsible for the very slow movement are likely to continue for the rest of the week.”

Hawthorne said a high-pressure ridge building near Florida may cause the depression to move slowly northward this weekend. He said it is way too early to project which part of the Gulf Coast may be affected.

Tropical Storm Cristobal is the third named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially started on Monday.

Tropical Storm Arthur formed three weeks ago and grazed North Carolina before moving out to sea. Tropical Storm Bertha formed last week off the coast of South Carolina and quickly moved inland.

With the formation of Arthur, 2020 is the sixth straight year that a named storm has developed before June 1.

Information from the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network was used in this report.

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