A Unique, Record-Breaking Storm
With Cristobal’s classification as a tropical storm on June 2, it became the third named storm of 2020 and arrived three days sooner than the previous record holder - Tropical Storm Colin strengthened into a named system on June 5, 2016.
From inception, meteorologists and hurricane experts noted the extreme rarity of Cristobal’s origination. Developing from the remnants of Tropical Storm Amanda in the Pacific, it made for a rare crossover storm.
From its unique formation to its extraordinary 2,000-mile-long track from the Gulf of Mexico to the Midwest, its impacts exceeded expectations for an early-season tropical storm. What it lacked in wind speed, it made up for in storm surge.
"Cristobal’s development was associated with a large counter-clockwise wind pattern referred to as a gyre," AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said. "The Central American Gyre (CAG) is more common during the late summer and fall season."
- As early as May 24, AccuWeather's long-range forecast team discussed with clients the potential for a tropical system to form in the Gulf of Mexico during early June, over a week before formation on June 1
- On May 27, AccuWeather's top hurricane expert included this potential in a tropical discussion
- On May 30, public sources indicated no possible development over the next 5 days in the Gulf of Mexico
- A tropical depression formed in the Bay of Campeche on June 1 and quickly strengthened into Tropical Storm Cristobal on June 2
- Cristobal made landfall along the southeast Louisiana coast as a tropical storm packing 50-mph winds on the evening of June 7, unleashing heavy rainfall, storm surge flooding and high winds, as predicted. Tropical storm conditions spread across the Mississippi and Alabama coastlines and heavy rain fell across the Florida Panhandle
Clients Prepared For Tropical Storm Impacts
AccuWeather For Business clients were alerted of Cristobal’s potential development and northward track toward the Gulf Coast earlier than any other source, giving them a head start to prepare operations.
As early as May 31, AccuWeather For Business was briefing clients of a potential landfall over the Gulf Coast, while as early as June 1 it was stated to a major Fortune 50 retailer that landfall was likely in Louisiana on Sunday, June 7.
Prior to Tropical Storm Cristobal, AccuWeather For Business debuted its new AssetReport feature providing clients with asset-specific insights that were continually updated as the situation evolved, including the start and end times of tropical-storm-force winds in relation to those assets. This information is critical to opening and closing decisions on a location by location basis and managing risk to life and property.
In the days leading up to landfall of Cristobal, AccuWeather For Business meteorologists conducted more than 50 conference calls with clients across the U.S. Businesses and organizations utilize AFB consultation services by asking location-specific questions to our business weather experts and discussing the risks in the forecast, giving them the confidence they need to make the best decisions possible.
Knowing the potential risks well ahead of any tropical system is an important part of developing, maintaining, and executing an emergency action plan for the tropical season.
Advantages of our hurricane expertise, tools and services:
- Team of meteorologists watching out for you and your assets
- Ability to consult 1:1 with a meteorologist for extra insight when critical decisions are necessary
- Tools to help you understand weather impacts ahead of other sources
- Most accurate forecasts, independent of public sources
- No-hype forecasts tailored to your operations and specific concerns
Learn more about our hurricane forecasts and services or contact us for a no-obligation trial.