TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tropical Storm Cristobal continues to strengthen as the storm moves north toward the central Gulf Coast at 12 mph. Storm surge and tropical storm watches remain in effect along parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast as it heads toward the coast.
As of the 11 AM ET advisory from the National Hurricane Center, maximum sustained winds have increased to 50 mph.
Cristobal is not a symmetric storm and most of the heavy rain and strong winds are on the eastern side of the storm.
Heavy rain extends well east of the center is ongoing in Florida. Flood Watches are in effect for portions of the Florida peninsula through Sunday evening. Flood Warnings are in effect for the Mississippi River as heavy rain is expected as Cristobal moves ashore. Flash flooding will be possible in areas that see a significant amount of rain in a short period of time.
The center of the storm will continue north and arrive to the eastern Louisiana coastline Sunday afternoon. Forward speed will likely slow as it interacts with an area of high pressure to the north. This will force the storm to jog west and move up through portions of eastern Louisiana and western Mississippi, weakening as it does so.
The National Hurricane Center says, “tropical storm force winds are expected late Saturday night along the northern Gulf Coast from southeastern Louisiana to the western Florida Panhandle, including metropolitan New Orleans.”