Tropical Storm Cristobal was the third named storm of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season. Cristobal developed offshore the coast of South Carolina from a frontal zone and then moved northeastward, parallel to the East Coast of the United States. Cristobal was a dry storm, as most of the convection was located east of the center throughout its lifetime, and thus rainfall was minimal.
Cristobal caused $10,000 (2008) USD and no deaths.
|Formation||July 19, 2008|
|Dissipation||July 23, 2008|
|Highest winds||65 mph|
|Lowest pressure||998 mbar|
|Damages||$10,000 (2008 USD)|
|Areas affected||Florida, East Coast of the United States, Atlantic Canada|
|Part of the||2008 Atlantic hurricane season|
On July 15, a trough of low pressure along an old frontal zone became nearly stationary along the East Coast of the United States. The trough extended southeastward across Florida and the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and on July 16, a low pressure area developed within the southern portion of the aforementioned trough near the southwestern Florida coast. Subsequently, the low moved northeastward across Florida, triggering heavy rainfall. On July 17 while just offshore the Georgia coast, the low became better organized, and deep convection gradually increased, and a well-defined mid-level circulation was observed. A well-defined surface circulation subsequently developed within the low, and it estimated that by 0000 UTC July 19, the low became organized enough to be designated a tropical depression while about 60 miles east of the Georgia/South Carolina border. After forming, the cyclone moved northeastward, with most of the associated convection being displaced to the east of the circulation center. The depression gradually organized, becoming a tropical storm by 1200 UTC July 19. Cristobal moved northeastward and came very close to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, although the strongest winds remained offshore to the east of North Carolina. As Cristobal continued moving northeast, the cloud pattern was unimpressive at times, with very little in the way of convection. Eventually, however, Cristobal encountered a more favorable upper-level environment, and consequently, strengthened to its peak of 65 mph at 1200 UTC July 22. During this time, an eye-like feature was observed on microwave satellite imagery. At this time, Cristobal was located about 180 miles southeast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Shortly thereafter, Cristobal traversed cooler waters and began to weaken as a result. By 1200 UTC July 23, Cristobal became absorbed by an extra-tropical cyclone.
In preparation for Tropical Storm Cristobal, a Tropical Storm Warning was issued from Cape Lookout, North Carolina to the North Carolina/Virginia border.
The precursor disturbance to Cristobal produced heavy rains across Florida, with around 6 inches being reported at Lake Wales, most of which occurred within only 2 hours; the sudden burst of heavy rainfall clogged drains, which produced some street flooding. Up to 40 cars had to be pulled out of flooded streets, some of which were under as much as 2 feet of water. The heavy rains helped relieve a drought within the state. Total damage in Florida from the precursor to Cristobal is estimated at $10,000 (2008 USD).
As Cristobal was moving parallel to the state, it produced 3.43 inches of rain in Wilmington, a record amount of rainfall for that day. The rainfall caused minor flooding in the city. Because Cristobal's strongest winds remained mainly east of the center, winds no higher than 25 mph occurred along the coast. Cristobal produced a storm surge of 1 foot along the coast. In addition, tropical storm force winds were reported offshore, although no damage or fatalities occurred in North Carolina from Cristobal.
Though not directly responsible, Cristobal aided a warm front in producing heavy rainfall across Atlantic Canada, which led to reports of localized flooding. At Baccaro Point, located along the southern tip of Nova Scotia, the cyclone produced as much as 8.8 inches of rain. A total of 5.8 inches was reported at Sambro, near Halifax. The storm also caused street and basement flooding in the Cape Sable area, and flooding was also reported near Ketch Harbour and Portugal Cove. A sailor from Connecticut was rescued by a Canadian helicopter when his ship capsized about 160 miles southeast of Halifax.
Lack of Retirement
The name Cristobal was not retired in the Spring of 2009 by the World Meteorological Organization. It is on the list of names to be used for the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season.