Tropical Storm Cristobal likely to form in Gulf of Mexico as hurricane season officially begins

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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WGNO) — It’s the first day of the Atlantic Hurricane Season — and Mother Nature is wasting no time in reminding us that hurricane season has arrived.

There is growing confidence that Tropical Storm Cristobal will form in the Bay of Campeche/southern Gulf of Mexico by midweek.

The National Hurricane Center said a disturbance identified as Invest 93-L has an 80% chance of development within the next 48 hours as the remnants from Tropical Storm Amanda in the East Pacific cross Central America and move into the southern Gulf.

Officials in El Salvador said at least seven people have died in flooding from Amanda.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said newly formed Tropical Storm Amanda had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph when it came ashore Sunday, though it soon dissipated as it moved across Guatemala. Forecasters said it could dump 10 to 15 inches of rain in some areas.

In the short term, the system is expected to move little in the southern Gulf through Wednesday and Thursday.

However, by late week into the weekend, all of the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida should keep a close eye on this disturbance for potential impacts late week into early next week.

Forecast models range in intensity from the system completely dying out over Mexico to reaching hurricane strength in the western Gulf. Do not focus on any one model run. The consensus is for a minimal to moderate tropical storm risk.

Ultimately, the biggest risks from an early season tropical system often include the heavy rainfall and flash flood risk along and East of where the system moves. Expect these rainfall totals to get modified as the overall setup becomes more clear.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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