"It's very efficient, very tropical rainfall", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said in a Facebook video. A re-energized Tropical Storm Cristobal advanced toward the U.S. Gulf Coast early Saturday, bringing with it the heavy rains that already caused flooding and mudslides in Mexico and Central America. Portions of the Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas are likely to be pummeled by heavy rainfall throughout the weekend.
In addition to the wind, there is a risk for unsafe storm surge from Louisiana to the Florida Big Bend. Tropical moisture will remain in place across Florida through the first half of next week, but the widespread, steady rains will subside as the tropical storm weakens over land and moves north into the Midwest. Storm surge warnings and watches were in effect in Louisiana and MS, with flooding up to 5 feet (1.5 metres) expected in some places.
Central Florida is under a flood watch from Topical Storm Cristobal. "But the tropical storm provided a lot of low level shear and that has allowed for some tornadoes to form over Central Florida".
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Life-threatening storm surge is also possible along the Florida Big Bend, in portions of southeastern Louisiana and along the MS coast within the next 48 hours, according to forecasters.
The official forecast from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) keeps Cristobal at a 50 miles per hour storm through landfall and will then weaken as it moves north up the Mississippi River Valley. Our state, local and federal partners have spent the past several days working with local governments and emergency officials preparing for issues related to this and the ongoing COVID-19 emergency.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards on Thursday declared a state of emergency and called for a federal declaration. Some additional strengthening is in the forecast over the next day to a stronger tropical storm status. Two to four inches of rain are likely toward interior and western parts of the peninsula. Severe weather potential would likely be limited to West Tennessee, unless the storm track shifts further east. "Heavy rainfall of 4-6" with higher amounts up to 10" possible for coastal Alabama and southeast MS".