Tropical Storm Cristobal makes landfall, projected to head north
Tropical Storm Cristobal spun up to 60 mph overnight before making landfall and losing a little steam in Mexico on Wednesday morning, but is expected to venture north into the Gulf of Mexico, regain strength and target the Gulf Coast of the U.S. this weekend.
Reports from an Air Force Reserve Unit Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicated the storm made landfall near Atasta, Mexico at 9:35 a.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center said. By 8 p.m., the NHC said the storm had weakened to sustained winds of 45 mph and higher gusts. It was located 20 miles south of Ciudad del Carmen and was stationary. Parts of Mexico and Central America have already seen heavy flooding with up to 25 inches of rainfall.
Forecasters expect the storm, which has tropical-storm-force winds extending out 60 miles from its center, to lose strength as its center crosses over land Thursday.
It has been slogging its way around the Bay of Campeche off the coast of Mexico since it became a tropical depression on Monday. Depending on how far inland it goes in the next day, the storm could weaken back into a depression Thursday before regaining strength Friday.
The storm is expected to turn to the east and then begin a north-northeast to north movement on Thursday and Friday bringing it back out into the Gulf of Mexico, where it’s expected to target the southern U.S. by Sunday night.
“Looks like it will threaten the Gulf Coast region maybe just a little bit west of New Orleans,” said FOX 35 meteorologist Jayme King.