The National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued storm surge and tropical storm watches for large swathes of the Gulf of Mexico coastline on Friday, June 5, due to the approach of Tropical Storm Cristobal. Cristobal weakened to a tropical depression after making landfall over the Bay of Campeche in Mexico on Thursday, June 4, but has strengthened again into a tropical storm and is forecast to head back out into the Gulf of Mexico on Friday night (local time) and track north across the gulf towards the US. Cristobal is forecast to make landfall over the Louisiana coast on Sunday evening, June 7. Increasingly strong winds and heavy rainfall will extend well in advance and over a wide distance from the storms center from east Texas to western Florida over the weekend. Life-threatening storm surge is possible along the Florida Big Bend, in portions of southeastern Louisiana, and along the Mississippi coast over the coming 48 hours. A storm surge watch is in effect from Indian Pass to Aripeka (Florida state) and from Grand Isle (Louisiana state) to Ocean Springs (Mississippi state), including Lake Borgne. A tropical storm watch is in effect from Intracoastal City (Louisiana state) to the Alabama/Florida border, including Lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas.
After making landfall the storm is forecast to weaken as it continues to track north. However, rainfall is expected over the eastern and central Gulf Coast and lower Mississippi Valley through Wednesday, June 10.
Flooding associated with the storm surge and rainfall is possible over low-lying coastal areas along the Gulf Coast in the coming days. Associated disruption to transport operations and utility services are also possible during the passing of the storm system.
Individuals present in the affected areas are advised to keep abreast of local weather forecasts, anticipate localized flooding and associated transportation disruptions, plan alternate routes, and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities. Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult.
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