Tropical Storm Cristobal forms in Gulf of Mexico

Tropical Storm Cristobal forms in Gulf of Mexico
Tropical Storm Cristobal has formed in the Gulf of Mexico. (Source: Live 5)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The National Hurricane Center confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the season’s third tropical storm has formed just two days in the Atlantic hurricane season.

Tropical Storm Cristobal becomes the earliest third-named storm on record. Atlantic basin hurricane records date back to 1851, Live 5 Meteorologist Joey Sovine said.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm was centered about 135 miles northeast of the oil city of Coatzacoalcos and was heading to the southwest at 3 mph. It had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.

Forecasters said it is likely to wander around the southern Gulf of Mexico during the week before veering northward across the Gulf, though it's too early to say when and where it might strike the United States.

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially began on Monday, became the sixth consecutive season in which the first named storm formed before the season started last month.

Tropical Storm Arthur formed on May 16 and brought heavy rain to North Carolina’s coast two days later.

But it then became only the third hurricane season in the last decade in which two storms had formed before June 1.

Tropical Storm Bertha formed Wednesday as a tropical disturbance suddenly organized, developed into a tropical storm and made landfall within two hours, but caused few problems.

Bertha was named around 8 a.m. Wednesday and was onshore east of Charleston by 9:30 a.m. The state Department of Natural Resources called it “a sunrise surprise.” Six hours after the tropical storm formed, the National Hurricane Center downgraded it to a depression well inland.

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