Tag Archive for: Christobal

NHC Predicts Christobal to Hit Louisiana by Sunday Morning, Houston Still Within Cone

Cristobal should approach the northern Gulf coast within 4 days. The latest predictions from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) suggest it should reach Louisiana Sunday morning by 8 a.m. Houston remains within the cone of uncertainty. The storm has already dumped torrential rains on Mexico and Central America and produced life-threatening flash flooding.

NHC forecast track of TS Christobal shows the center of the storm arriving in Louisiana sometime between Sunday and Monday.

No one is yet predicting the exact point of impact, the intensity at landfall, or the potential rainfall. Note, however, that the storm is significantly bigger than the center. Areas far away from the track may still experience significant impacts.

So far, this storm appears to be Mexico’s and Central America’s version of Harvey in that it has stalled in one location and dropped heavy rainfall for 4-5 days.

Current Location and Conditions

Here’s what’s happening at this hour.

Cristobal dipped inland this morning in the Mexican State of Campeche around around 8 a.m. CDT. Aircraft and surface reports indicate intensity at about 50 kt. (57.5 mph).

Now that the center of circulation has moved inland, a gradual weakening trend should commence. The NHC anticipates Cristobal will weaken to a topical depression by tomorrow evening. However, they also predict the system will re-emerge into the Gulf of Mexico.

Sheer Expected in Northern Gulf

NHC says global models show increased southwesterly shear influencing the cyclone over the northern Gulf of Mexico and this should limit intensification. However, there is significant uncertainty as to how strong a cyclone we will be dealing with near the northern Gulf coast this weekend.

Impacts to Date

Damaging and deadly flooding has occurred in portions of Mexico and Central America. Cristobal is expected to produce additional extreme rainfall amounts through the end of the week. The heaviest additional rainfall is expected over far southern Mexico and portions of the Yucatan Peninsula, while also extending along the Pacific coast from Chiapas to Guatemala and El Salvador. This rainfall could cause widespread life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. Up to 35 inches of rain has already fallen in some locations since May 30.

Even though Cristobal has made landfall, tropical storm conditions will continue along and near the coast of Mexico through Thursday, especially over western Campeche, eastern Tabasco, and northern Chiapas states.

Rainfall in Mexico and Central America Through Friday

NHC predicts Cristobal will produce the following rain accumulations through Friday night:

  • Mexican states of Campeche, northern Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, and Yucatan…10 to 20 inches, isolated 25 inches.
  • Mexican state of southern Chiapas…15 to 20 inches, isolated 25 inches. Mexican states of Veracruz and Oaxaca…5 to 10 inches.
  • Southern Guatemala…Additional 15 to 20 inches, isolated storm total amounts of 35 inches dating back to Saturday, May 30th.
  • El Salvador…Additional 10 to 15 inches, isolated storm total amounts of 35 inches dating back to Saturday, May 30th.
  • Belize and Honduras…3 to 6 inches, isolated 10 inches.
  • Rainfall in all of these areas may produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Threat to U.S. by Sunday

NHC forecasts Cristobal to re-emerge over the southern Gulf of Mexico Friday or Friday night.

Christobal should then move northward over the central and northern Gulf over the weekend. Risks to the US Gulf coast from Texas to the Florida Panhandle include storm surge, heavy rainfall, and wind impacts beginning this weekend.

While it is too soon to determine the exact location, timing, and magnitude of these impacts, people and businesses in these areas should monitor the progress of Cristobal and ensure they have their hurricane plan in place.

Earliest Arrival Times of Tropical Storm Force Winds. NHC prediction as of 6/3/2020 at 10AM CDT.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 6/3/2020 at 11:30 a.m.

1009 days after Hurricane Harvey

Buzzing The Mouth Bar: Low Altitude Flyover at 30 MPH Takes 1 Minute 9 Seconds

It’s hard to get a feeling for the enormity of the West Fork mouth bar in a still photo. Something more than half a mile long is reduced to 1200 pixels. That fundamentally alters the scale between nature and humans. Instead of being a thousand times bigger, it’s a hundred times smaller. That does not produce the same emotional impact. It’s like looking at a picture of a mountain instead of standing at the base of one and feeling dwarfed as you look up.

Video Comes Closer to Capturing Imensity

However, tonight, at sunset, I flew a drone over mouth bar and captured the entire flight on video. At 30 miles per hour, it took 1 minute and 9 seconds to get from one end to the other.

The rapidly vanishing San Jacinto West Fork mouth bar. Mechanical dredging reduces the size a little more every day.
Looking south from Scenic Shores in King’s Point across mouth bar toward FM1960 Causeway downriver.
Looking west toward West Lake Houston Parkway.
Excavators working western tip of mouth bar. They shaver one row after another off, as if they are nibbling an ear of corn.
From the upstream to downstream tip measures more than half a mile.
At the eastern end, it almost look as if a bored dredging is carving his initials in the bar so that they can be seen from outer space.
Looking south across the eastern edge toward the FM1960 bridge again.

Tonight, as we watch Tropical Storm Cristobal dump torrential rains on Mexico, it’s hard to escape thinking of Hurricane Harvey. It dumped torrential rains on Houston and formed this monster mouth bar almost overnight. Remember, like an ice berg, the part you see above water is only a tiny percentage of what you can’t see below water.

Thinking of Cristobal, Remembering Harvey

As I look at the cloudless skies and soft sunset, I can’t help but wonder. Will Cristobal miss us. Or is this just the calm before the storm?

Cristobal has produced life-threatening flash flooding in Mexico and Central America. The National Hurricane Center forecasts it to move northward across the Gulf of Mexico on Friday. Risks include storm surge, rainfall and wind impacts this coming weekend across the US Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida. NHC reiterates that it’s too soon predict the exact location, timing and magnitude of these impacts.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 6/3/2020

1009 Days since Hurricane Harvey