Tropical Storm Cristobal is continuing to weaken as it works its way inland across Southern Mexico, but National Weather Service Lake Charles meteorologist Don Jones said that "doesn't necessarily mean the end of the storm."
"It has gotten a bit less organized with the moisture in the Gulf, but conditions in the southern Gulf are still favorable for development," he said.
Jones said continued weakening of the storm — and a possible downgrade to a tropical depression — is expected over the next 24 hours ahead of an expected eventual turn toward the United States.
"Cristobal is forecast to re-emerge into the southern Gulf Friday and regain tropical storm strength while crossing the central Gulf of Mexico Saturday and Sunday," he said. "The latest forecast indicates landfall across central Louisiana late Sunday or early Monday as a tropical storm with maximum winds of about 65 mph, but there is still high uncertainty about how strong the storm will be at landfall."
He said dry air could prohibit Cristobal's shower and thunderstorm development as the storm intensifies. Another factor working against the storm is wind shield.
"The storm is going to be moving north into areas of higher wind shear that will shear off the tops of showers and thunderstorms that are trying to develop within the storm itself."
He said if Southwest Louisiana should experience tropical storm-force winds, the earliest reasonable time of arrival would be early Sunday morning.
"The biggest impacts across our area will be the potential for flash flooding due to heavy rain, about four to six inches, higher tides and some minor storm surge associated with that," he said.
Jones said he "strongly" recommends residents continue to monitor Cristobal's movements because "sharp changes" in the storm's path could still occur.
He said the area is expected to experience scattered storms the rest of the week not related to Cristobal, with temperatures forecast in the lower 90s during the day and upper 70s after dark.