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Tropical depression 3 continues to intensify in the Gulf of Mexico; forecast to become named storm, Cristobal

Cheryl McCloud
Treasure Coast Newspapers
Northwest Florida Daily News

Tropical Depression 3 formed Monday afternoon, the first day of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. The depression is expected to become the third named storm of the young season: Cristobal.

Satellite imagery and radar observations from Mexico show that the circulation associated with the area of disturbed weather over the Yucatan peninsula has become better defined, and that the center has moved over the eastern portion of the Bay of Campeche, according to the 4 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

The depression will be moving over the warm waters over the Bay of Campeche and upper-level winds are forecast to be generally conducive for strengthening during the next couple of days.

The NHC forecast calls for the system to become a tropical storm in 12 to 24 hours, with some additional strengthening predicted through 48 hours while the system remains over the southern Bay of Campeche.

Residents along the coast of the Bay of Campeche should monitor the progress of this disturbance as tropical storm watches or warnings could be required for a portion of this area later today or tonight.

Regardless of tropical cyclone formation, heavy rainfall is likely to continue over portions of southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize and western Honduras during the next few days.

FROM THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER: ( 7 a.m. - June 2)

Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts. Slow strengthening is expected during the next couple of days, and the depression is forecast to become a tropical storm later today. An Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate the system later this morning.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 1003 mb. Tropical Depression Three is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 20 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 25 inches over parts of the Mexican states of Tabasco, Veracruz, and Campeche. The depression is also expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 15 inches over northern Chiapas and other Mexican states, Quintana Roo and Yucatan. Additional rainfall of 10 to 15 inches, with isolated amounts of 25 inches is expected along the Pacific coasts of Chiapas, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Some of these Pacific locations received 20 inches of rain over the weekend, and storm total amounts of 35 inches are possible. Rainfall in all of these areas may produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.