Tropical Storm Cristobal to bring heavy downpours to Florida, models show chance of hurricane development

Tropical Storm Cristobal is expected to stay west of Florida but will still bring heavy downpours to the Sunshine State.

Tropical Storm Cristobal is in the southern Gulf of Mexico, near the Bay of Campeche and Yucatán. It is moving towards the southern Gulf Coast region and is likely to be west of New Orleans by Sunday evening.

The forward speed and path of the tropical storm, which is a big swirl of clouds, showers, and storms, could change but most forecast models show a good consensus that it will impact the New Orleans area. 

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Central Florida is expected to stay well to the east of the circulation but will still be impacted by moisture generated by Cristobal. Rain chances will rise into the weekend, with heavy downpours likely. Rain accumulations could reach up to two to four inches. 

FOX 35 meteorologist Jayme King says that while Cristobal is a tropical storm right now, some models indicate that it could eventually become a hurricane. However, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) still forecasts it staying a tropical storm. 

FOX 35 Orlando will watch Cristobal as it moves towards the southeastern United States, specifically the states along the Gulf. We will provide frequent updates as we track the storm and if this becomes a source of worry at all, we will alert you.

BE PREPARED: FEMA supplies checklist for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season

Cristobal was the earliest third named storm of an Atlantic hurricane season on record, the Associated Press reported. In 2016, Tropical Storm Colin formed in the Gulf on June 5. Prior to the official start of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season on Monday, Tropical Storm Arthur and Tropical Storm Bertha formed. 

Hurricane season will go until November 30th. Forecasters predict that the season will more activity than normal. For example, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted an above-average season, with 13 to 19 named storms. 6 to 10 of those would become hurricanes and 3 to 6 of those are forecasted to become major hurricanes (category 3 or higher).

In comparison, the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane season had 18 named storms, matching 1969 for the fourth most-lively season in the past 150 years.

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