Tropical Storm Cristobal Makes Landfall in South Louisiana
A re-energized Tropical Storm Cristobal continued its advance toward the U.S. Gulf Coast early Sunday, having spawned a tornado in Florida and brought heavy rains that already caused flooding and mudslides in Mexico and Central America.
After weakening to a tropical depression while moving over land in Mexico's Gulf coast, Cristobal headed back into the southern Gulf of Mexico from the Yucatan Peninsula on Friday and powered back up into a tropical storm. Forecasters said it would arrive on U.S. soil late Sunday but was not expected to grow into a hurricane.
Squalls with tropical-force winds reached the mouth of the Mississippi River by Sunday morning and conditions were expected to deteriorate. the National Hurricane Center in Miami said. Cristobal's maximum sustained winds remained at 50 mph and it was moving north at 12 mph, centered around 140 miles south-southwest from the mouth of the Mississippi River.
The National Hurricane Center said the storm was expected to slowly strengthen until making landfall Sunday night along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
But the storm already made its presence felt Saturday evening with a tornado that touched down near downtown Orlando, the National Weather Service said. The twister just missed a group of protesters at Lake Eola at around 7:30 p.m. There appeared to be no injuries, but tree limbs were knocked down, and there were reports of power outages.
The storm will weaken as it moves inland and as it quickly moves north, but will bring the potential of severe weather to parts of the South and Midwest this week, with the system expected to move over the Great Lakes into Canada by Wednesday.