Tropical Storm Cristobal continues to strengthen as the storm is headed to an area of the Louisiana coast littered with offshore oil platforms.
A look from above of #Cristobal this morning. Winds will increase to tropical storm force Sunday morning for parts of the northern Gulf Coast. Preparation should be competed as soon as possible.— National Weather Service (@NWS) June 6, 2020
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A 10:00 ET tropical update via the National Weather Service (NWS) warns "tropical-storm-force winds, storm surge, and heavy rainfall are expected to begin along portions of the northern Gulf Coast tonight and Sunday morning."
Ahead of impacts, here's our reporting last week of Cristobal's movements:
- 2020 Hurricane Season Begins - Next Tropical Depression Could Form In Days
- Tropical Storm Cristobal Set To Strike US This Weekend
Cristobal is sustaining winds of 50 mph and could strengthen before making landfall along the Louisiana coast on Sunday. The center of the storm will likely strike the eastern Louisiana coastline late Sunday afternoon.
At least 65 Gulf of Mexico offshore oil platforms have shuttered operations, resulting in a decline of 500,000 barrels per day (BPD) of oil production. Gulf of Mexico oil platforms represents about 15% of total daily US production.
A Reuters source said crude refineries located on the Louisiana coast plan to continue operating this weekend, despite tropical threats on Sunday into Monday. Torrential rains and high winds are expected between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
As of early Saturday afternoon, Cristobal is about 365 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River and traveling north at around 14 mph.
*Updates will follow as the storm closes in on the Louisiana coast.