Continuing to meander northeast of the Bahamas, NOAA Hurricane Hunter Aircraft found this evening that Cristobal had become a hurricane with 75mph 1-minute sustained winds and a minimum central pressure near 989mb as of the 11pm eastern advisory. A Tropical Storm Watch was issued for Bermuda with the 5pm eastern advisory and is for the potential for tropical storm conditions (1-minute sustained winds greater than 39mph) in Bermuda on Wednesday afternoon associated with Cristobal. Cristobal will also likely bring squally heavy rains to continue the wet pattern that Bermuda has been in, rainfall totals between 2-4″ associated with Cristobal are possible.
[Bermuda Weather Service Radar images showing a line of embedded heavier rain fracturing and spinning up into an area of low pressure to the south of Bermuda. It then moves northeastward and passes very near the eastern end of the island. Click each image to see a larger version.]
While Cristobal was more than 650miles to the southwest of Bermuda, a wave of low pressure developed along the front to the near south of Bermuda. This non-tropical low tracked northeastward and passed just to the east of Bermuda. As the low moved by, winds shifted from south-southeast to east, then north, northwest, and now from the west this evening. Winds also increased for a short time to near 30mph at the airport where pressures also fell to 1008mb. This is after more than 2″ of rain fell in some spots around the island today resulting in renewed flooding of low-lying and poor drainage areas. More rain is likely tonight through at least Thursday. The front lingers tonight and Tuesday with steady rain and showers. Then Cristobal brings showers on Wednesday through Thursday.
Wind shear has decreased this evening and the center of Cristobal was relocated back under the deep convection. This decrease in wind shear and subsequent organization likely led to this recent strengthening. The track reasoning has changed little through the day; a continued north-northeast track tonight through Wednesday morning, then a turn to the northeast Wednesday afternoon and evening. Cristobal is expected to pass more than 150 miles to the northwest/north of Bermuda. However, the storm is large enough to still bring tropical storm conditions to Bermuda as it passes by. For that reason, a tropical storm watch is in effect for the island. Additionally, should Cristobal pass closer to Bermuda, the chances for tropical storm conditions would increase. Similarly, if Cristobal passes further away, the chances decrease. It is therefore important to stay tuned to the latest official information on Cristobal. (See: National Hurricane Center|Bermuda Weather Service)