Tropical Storm Cristobal weakened to a tropical depression early Monday hours after it arrived on shore on the Gulf Coast, lashed the Louisiana shoreline and unleashed heavy rains as far east as Florida’s western coast.
The National Hurricane Center said in its 10 a.m. Monday update that the storm’s center is about 15 miles east of Monroe, La., and had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph.
After lashing the central Gulf Coast with tropical downpours, tropical-storm-force winds and coastal flooding over the weekend, Cristobal will race northward along the Mississippi Valley and into Great Lakes into the middle of the week.
AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys said the storm will interact with the cold front moving across the Plains, allowing it to pick up speed. Cristobal made landfall in the southeastern part of Louisiana Sunday.
he storm has gradually lost intensity, weakening to a tropical depression early Monday morning.
“Even though Cristobal will lose its tightly wound wind field, as it transitions to a rainstorm, strong winds can still occur over a broad area,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
This will be due in part to Cristobal’s circulation getting caught up in a non-tropical storm set to eject out of the Rockies early this week. As these system’s interact and perhaps merge, winds will become strong over a broad area of the Midwest and Great Lakes region.As Cristobal moves inland, conditions will begin to gradually improve along the Louisiana coast, as areas of heavier rain and thunderstorms drench Arkansas into Monday night.
Cristobal will continue to pick up forward speed on Tuesday and downpours are expected to spread from Missouri to Wisconsin and Minnesota. By Tuesday night, rain will cross the Canadian border and spread across parts of southern Ontario.
According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Courtney Travis, this amount of rain could cause creeks and streams across the Midwest to rise. However, more widespread river flooding may develop in the lower Mississippi Valley later this week or this weekend as runoff slowly flows downstream.
Otherwise, Cristobal will threaten areas of flash flooding, especially in low-lying and poor drainage areas.
In addition to the risk of flooding, there will be the potential for isolated tornadoes to be spawned where heavy thunderstorms erupt to the east of Cristobal’s circulation.