Tropical Storm Force wind and heavy rain to start tonight

The National Hurricane Center says Tropical Storm Cristobal is poorly organized, but still forecast to bring high wind, storm surge and heavy rain from Texas through Louisiana to Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

  • Tropical storm force winds are expected by late Saturday night along the northern Gulf Coast from southeastern Louisiana to the western Florida Panhandle, including metropolitan New Orleans.
  • Heavy rainfall will spread into portions of the Gulf Coast, from east Texas to Florida, this weekend into early next week, with areas of flash flooding. Significant flooding will be possible on the smaller tributaries, especially where heavier rainfall occurs.
  • There is a danger of life-threatening storm surge outside of the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System from the Mouth of the Mississippi River to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and a Storm Surge Warning is in effect for those areas.  

Federal forecasters, however, say that Cristobal doesn't look like a typical tropical storm.

"Satellite imagery this morning shows that Cristobal does not have a  classic tropical cyclone structure."

They says that is due to wind shear and dry air over the Gulf.

It is pushing the rain around the center well off to the north and east.

The system continues moving to the north.

"This motion should take the center of the storm across the Louisiana coast by Sunday night."

Top winds are forecast to be about 60mph at landfall.