Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Cristobal is expected to regain tropical storm strength later today.
The center of Cristobal will move back over the southern Gulf of Mexico Friday evening, over the central Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, and be near the northern Gulf of Mexico coast by Sunday evening.
Cristobal is expected to be a tropical storm - possibly a strong tropical storm - by then, and the hurricane center said tropical storm and storm surge watches will likely be issued for the northern Gulf Coast later today.
Cristobal's exact track is still rather uncertain since it still hasn't emerged over water and has degraded so much during its time over land.
Although it isn't impossible for Cristobal to become a hurricane, at this point, it is unlikely.
As of Friday, Cristobal is moving north at 13 miles per hour with 40-mph maximum sustained winds, according to the National Hurricane Center.
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"There appears to be some limiting factors in advance of the storm to keep it from intensifying into a hurricane, with wind shear and expected dry air that the storm will entrain", Hennen said, explaining why he's skeptical the storm will strengthen significantly.
Forecasters also issued a storm surge warning for portions of coastal MS including Biloxi, Gulfport and Pass Christian.
Inches of rain are forecast for the Gulf Coast in the coming days as Cristobal moves toward the Gulf Coast. With the heavy rain expected, flash flooding is a possibility.
"Coastal flooding, heavy rain and unsafe beach conditions will be the main impacts locally", the National Weather Service said on their website.
The weather service said 2-4 inches of rain will be possible, mainly close to the coast, with amounts dropping to as low as a quarter-inch farther inland. "There's a high risk of rip currents and high surf at the beaches" in our area.
"It's definitely going to impact the coastal areas", Wynn said.