By AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski and updated by Brian Wimer
As of Tuesday early afternoon EDT, Tropical Depression 3 has strengthened into Tropical Storm Cristobal. The storm continues to move very slowly in the Bay of Campeche, about 150 miles west-southwest of Campeche, Mexico. Maximum-sustained winds are near 40 mph. Cristobal is the third tropical storm to form in the basin this year.
Some further strengthening is expected during the next 24-48 hours, but interaction with land may impact how much it strengthens during this time. Tropical Storm Cristobal is expected to loop around near and over the southern coast of the Bay of Campeche Wednesday and Thursday, then slowly move northward Friday and this coming weekend, potentially bringing impacts to portions the Gulf Coast later this weekend or early next week. All interests along the central and western Gulf coast should start paying attention and consider taking action should the system approach the area.
Cristobal will continue to bring heavy rainfall over southeastern Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize, Guatemala and parts of El Salvador and Honduras, with an AccuWeather Local StormMax&trade of 30 inches possible in some of the mountainous terrain of Central America. This heavy rainfall will cause life-threatening flash flooding and higher-terrain mudslides. By this weekend or early next week, as the storm moves northward, flooding concerns will escalate in the southern United States.
Elsewhere in the basin, there are no other tropical systems and none are expected to develop through at least the end of the week.