Tropical Storm Cristobal is spinning very close to Mayaguana Island in the Bahamas, or roughly 500 miles southeast of South Florida. It will start moving NW over the next 24 hours at a very slow pace.
Tropical storm force winds extend outward from the center about 140 miles with most of that being felt to the northeast of the system and mainly over open waters.
At the moment:
"Cristobal" organized some overnight with more rain developing within its feeder bands, but the winds have not picked up any. As of this writing they remain around 45 mph.
Looking at the color enhanced satellite imagery , with the golds and reds showing the heaviest of the rain, the strongest downpours are impacting the Turks and Caicos islands.
Most of the heavy rain is over open waters. Clear skies dominate the Central and Northwestern Bahamas, but by Monday this area will start feeling the effects of "Cristobal"
The following statement is from NHC:
RAINFALL...CRISTOBAL IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE RAINFALL TOTALS OF 4 TO 8 INCHES OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS...THE TURKS AND
CAICOS ISLANDS...AND THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS THROUGH TUESDAY.
ISOLATED AMOUNTS AROUND 12 INCHES POSSIBLE. STORM TOTAL RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF UP TO 12 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE IN PORTIONS OF HISPANIOLA...WHERE THESE RAINS COULD PRODUCE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUDSLIDES...ESPECIALLY IN AREAS OF MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN.
What is next?
Most models show "Cristobal" slowing down and dumping plenty of rain across the Bahamas. It should wobble a bit more to the northwest through Monday before running into some very strong upper level winds.
These strong winds will be coming off the Eastern Seaboard on Tuesday helping to push "Cristobal" away from most land areas. By Thursday however, those winds weaken just enough for "Cristobal: to swing closer to the US, but still remaining offshore.
If it should reach hurricane strength , it may do so east of the Carolinas. It should steer clear of Florida altogether.
This is the latest from NHC regarding the cone:
The track has been shifted eastward, but it remains along the western side of the
guidance envelope out of respect for the ECMWF and continuity of the previous forecasts.The new track forecast is closest to the HWRF, but is well west of the latest multi-model consensus.
Future eastward adjustments may be required if the eastward model trend continues. Given that a large spread remains in the guidance, the confidence in the track forecast remains lower than normal.
The means, the cone could shift a bit more west or east over the next 24 hours, but in general, the system should remain a few hundred miles away from us.
South Florida Impacts?:
Most of what we will see from "Cristobal" depends on how strong it gets as it slides away to our east. We are looking at mostly rough marine conditions with large swells developing by Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday maybe the closest approach to our area with the possibility of a few stray storms across South Florida. More storms may linger until Friday.
Boaters and surfers:
Should really pay attention to "Cristobal" . If you plan on boating beyond Biscayne Bay and over offshore coastal waters, navigation could be a little rough. There is a chance for strong winds and higher seas the further east you travel.
The Southeastern and Central Bahamas should see squally weather over the next 24-48 hours. South Florida may get a downpour or two over the next few days with no direct impact. Then the Mid Atlantic states could see rough surf and a few t-storms depending on how close "Cristobal" gets.
And remember as much as we value models and forecast outputs, Mother Nature always has the last word. Check in from time to time for updates.