Tracking the Tropics: Cristobal weakens to tropical depression before move back to Gulf

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Cristobal weakened from a tropical storm to a tropical depression on Thursday while moving over Mexico.

As of 11 p.m. ET, Tropical Depression Cristobal is still inland over Mexico, about 145 miles south of Campeche. Maximum sustained winds have weakened to 35 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. While the winds have slowed a bit, Cristobal is still producing heavy rains and life-threatening flooding.

Cristobal is currently moving toward the east but is expected to make a turn toward the northeast is expected overnight, heading back toward the Gulf of Mexico. The NHC says the system will be back over the southern Gulf by Friday night and will continue moving north through the Gulf throughout the weekend.

As it moves through the Gulf, Cristobal will become better organized. Strengthening is expected and Cristobal will likely be a tropical storm again by Friday night or Saturday.

Tropical storm force winds could impact the Gulf Coast this weekend from Louisiana to the western Florida Panhandle. Winds could pick up as early as Sunday. Storm surge will be a risk from Louisiana to Florida’s Big Bend. The NHC says tropical storm and storm surge watches could be issued Thursday night or Friday.

Heavy rain will be likely from Florida to west Texas. Downpours have already been affecting the Florida peninsula since Wednesday. Rainfall amounts could be up five or more inches along the Gulf coast through next week. Flooding will be possible as rain accumulates.

Tracking the Tropics is keeping you informed and safe throughout the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. Watch live Friday at 2 p.m. ET.

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