From Bay News 9
The tropical disturbance that has been churning in the eastern Caribbean Sea is now the third named storm of the 2014 hurricane season.
Tropical Depression No. 4 was upgraded to Tropical Storm Cristobal early Sunday. It is expected to impact the Tampa Bay area mainly with drier weather Tuesday and Wednesday.
The storm is located near the southeastern Bahamas and is moving northwest. According to Bay News 9 meteorologist Josh Linker, it is expected to slow and turn north-northwest today into a mid- to upper-level trough that is moving off the U.S. east coast. The trough is forecast to dig southeastward during the next 24 to 36 hours before lifting northeastward on Tuesday.
"Now that we have an actual location for this storm, the track forecast has a little more confidence than it did yesterday," Linker said. "A path generally well to the east of our area will keep direct impact from the storm away."
With the storm passing Florida to the east, Bay area winds from the east to northeast will increase by Tuesday, Linker said.
"It won’t be too strong, but a noticeable breeze will be in place," Linker said The tropical system will also help to pull dry air into our area Tuesday and Wednesday."
Cristobal is still relatively weak and disorganized but is expected to strengthen in the coming days, Linker said. Computer model projections show it curving away form the U.S. east coast in the Atlantic Ocean.
Twenty-two years ago Sunday, Hurricane Andrew made landfall in Homestead as a Category 5 storm. Packing sustained winds of 165 mph and bring a storm surge of 17 feet, it did $25 billion in damage. Some 250,000 people were left homeless in south Florida.