Before discussing Cristobal … I’ve re-established the link to Facebook because so many get their information that way. While it is a problematic platform in many ways, the simple fact is many people use it. I would again caution that for real time hazards and news, Facebook can even be dangerous because it does not show you things chronologically. It also does not show you every post, because it aggressively wants corporate and even non-profit users to pay them to “boost” posts. So if you really want live data from Enki, bookmark the blog directly. Another thing I dislike is people profiting from disasters. As I get time I’m considering options like creating an app, but I may have to set up a Patreon type thing to sponsor that. Either way, I really appreciate everyone who has contacted me with well wishes and ideas for how to sort through this. Note going forward I am not reading or responding to comments on FB. This is purely an echo of what goes on to the site as a convenience for FB users.
Cristobal has re-emerged into the Gulf of Mexico, and tropical storm force winds should make landfall on the Louisiana coast tomorrow morning – but the impacts will be felt starting later today/tonight. NHC’s key messages are pretty straightforward, and there are tropical storm warnings up for the Louisiana/Florida Coast, including New Orleans. Here is the forecast damage swath …
Two things about Cristibal: first, it isn’t likely to get very strong. It has a very broad structure, and is dragging in dry air, limiting how intense it can get. Here is a water vapor image from this morning, you can see the dry air in orange … as always, click any graphic to embiggen.
The second (related) thing is how large the system is. Normally tropical cyclones get smaller as they get more intense. It’s a lot like an ice skater who spins faster as she draws her arms in, and slows down when they are extended. The circulation of Cristobal is quite large. That means the area of winds and somewhat elevated water is also large – but it also means the storm won’t intensify as fast, even given warm water. There is also some shear (winds moving in different directions in the middle and upper levels of the atmosphere). Here’s the 850mb (about 5000 feet up) wind speeds … so even the Florida coast might see gusty (but not dangerous) winds. Water elevations will run a bit above normal across the Northern Gulf Coast – but only structures right on the coast are at risk. However, soil moistures are high, and there will likely be a lot of rain, meaning there will be river/creek flooding, so if you live near one along the Gulf Coast beware. Aside from the odd tree down and scattered power outages, that should be about it for Cristibal.