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TS Cristobal forms in the Bay of Campeche

As of 2 pm on June 2, Tropical Storm Cristobal has formed in the Bay of Campeche west of the Yucutan Peninsula of Mexico. It is not very organized at the moment but is expected to slowly wander around that area gaining strength until it gets pushed north by high pressure centered over the Florida Peninsula. On average the 3rd named storm of the year occurs on August 13, so we are much earlier than usual. Not a surprise this year.

Currently it is expected to stay at tropical storm strength, but the ocean temperatures there are quite warm so it will bear watching. At this time there are no model runs that suggest it will move over the Southeast. However, that does not mean we won’t see any impacts. The most likely effects of Cristobal will be scattered heavy rain showers, especially on Sunday into Monday as the storm approaches the Gulf Coast. Since we will be in the part of the circulation that is pulling air north, we can expect to see plenty of humid air getting into the region even before then, so scattered heavy rain cannot be ruled out even by Friday. As the storm gets closer, there could also be the potential for isolated small tornadoes in the spiral arms if any move through the region, although this is not a big threat. The impacts will start along the Gulf Coast and move north over time.