Published: 2020-06-01 10:25:00
Updated: 2020-06-03 11:07:14
By Elizabeth Gardner, WRAL meteorologist
CNN — Tropical Storm Cristobal made landfall Wednesday -- on only the third day of the official Atlantic hurricane season -- near Atasta, Mexico.
Cristobal was named Tuesday and is the earliest "C" storm to ever form in the Atlantic.
As of Wednesday morning, Cristobal was in the southern part of the Gulf of Mexico in the Bay of Campeche. Its winds are at 60mph, when yesterday afternoon its winds were 40mph.
"It's definitely increased in intensity significantly in the past 24 hours," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Garner said. On Wednesday morning, it was just "wandering" and hovering in south Mexico, causing flash flooding, mudslides and severe rain.
"It will linger there until say Friday or so," Gardner said.
After Friday, it will move across the Gulf of Mexico and then Monday, it could make landfall in Louisiana. A European model of the storm shows the center of it landing just west of New Orleans early Monday morning.
"It will likely be a very strong tropical storm," Gardner said.
After making landfall, models predict it will move up the Mississippi Valley. That's where it will bring the heaviest rain, Gardner said.
On Thursday, there could be a front of rain that gets swept up and hit the eastern part of North Carolina.
"It's way too early to say exactly what's going to happen except that our impacts will be fairly minimal," Gardner said.
Monday marked the first day of the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs through November 30. But before hurricane season, we already had two named storms: Tropical Storm Arthur and Tropical Storm Bertha.
Nearly all weather entities -- government agencies, institutions, and private companies -- are forecasting for an above-average hurricane season for 2020.
A system called the Central America gyre helped give birth to Tropical Storm Amanda, which formed quickly across the eastern Pacific over the weekend but has since dissipated over Central America and southern Mexico. Amanda turned deadly for Central America, according to AccuWEather Global Weather Center. And Tropical Storm Cristobal formed because of this gr
"Even though this system will originate from the remnants of Tropical Storm Amanda, it will get a new name, likely Cristobal, simply because it moved from the Pacific Ocean basin into the Atlantic Ocean basin, by way of Mexico," said CNN Meteorologist Allison Chinchar.
In the short term, little movement is expected, as this system churns over southern Mexico, bringing heavy rain, flash flooding, and mudslides to the region. In the long term, this storm could track into the Gulf of Mexico by the weekend, becoming our third named Atlantic tropical storm of the season, Cristobal.
"Under the constant shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, this year's hurricane season will be extraordinarily challenging especially if a high-impact event comes ashore. With already stretched resources and limited supplies, now is the time for people to prepare for the active season that is forecast," said CNN Meteorologist Derek Van Dam.