Model Guidance Suggesting Cristobal Landfall in Acadiana
On May 29th we first alerted you to the prospect of a tropical system forming in the Gulf of Mexico. At that time we had no idea what that system would evolve into. Fast forward about a week and we find that area of disturbed weather now has a name.
Its name is Cristobal and it currently is maintaining tropical storm status on the southwestern side of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The storm, now over land, is expected to become a tropical depression later today. However, on Friday the center of circulation is expected to be pulled northward over the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Should that happen Cristobal will likely become a tropical storm again. The big question following that scenario is where will the storm likely go?
Scenarios from the most recent tropical model guidance (0600 z) suggests that Acadiana will likely feel the effects of Cristobal beginning Sunday with landfall somewhere between Lafayette and Baton Rouge either late Sunday night or early Monday morning.
The 0400 am advisory and track forecast from the Hurricane Center supports that scenario for landfall, at least at this time.
National Hurricane Center forecasters do not anticipate that Cristobal will reach hurricane status before that landfall. An influx of drier air on the western side of the system and upper-level wind shear will likely quell Cristobal's development before it crosses the coast.
Still, Cristobal could be packing winds of 60 mph or greater at the time of landfall. Plus, a greater danger from landfalling tropical cyclones is the possibility of tornadoes. Given the fact that should a funnel develop it could be shrouded in heavy rain bands making it virtually impossible to see, especially at night.
Flooding from heavy rain and from storm surge could be an issue with Cristobal as well. That's why many communities in the area have already opened sandbag locations for residents who want to take precautions now and plan ahead.
Please remember that model guidance is for planning purposes only. Please rely on trusted media, such as this radio station, or our news partners at KATC TV 3 for the latest official developments on the storm. Oh, and don't get mad at Rob Perillo if he has to interrupt your favorite Sunday night show to bring you information that could save your life.