Tropical Storm Cristobal’s winds have been bumped up to 50 mph as of 8am Eastern. Some more mild strengthening is expected. Closest approach to Hatteras will be late this afternoon or early this evening. You can watch the storm’s approach via the long-range radar out of Morehead City, NC, and via the satellite loops: visible and infrared.
As for Invest 94L, or “proto-Dolly,” an aircraft reconnaissance plane is scheduled to investigate that system this afternoon, starting around 2:00 PM Eastern . So, if it’s going to earn its tropical-storm stripes today, that would probably be the most likely time. Meanwhile, Houston Chronicle weatherblogger Eric Berger says the threat is lessening along most of the Texas coast.
(Berger also notes: “An impressive tropical wave has just moved off the African coast. Might we get five named storms before Aug. 1? That would be something.” Indeed it would.)
I’m about to get on an airplane, and so will be incommunicado for a few hours. But you can follow the latest on Cristobal, proto-Dolly and Bertha via the links at right. The most up-to-date official information, of course, can always be found at the National Hurricane Center website.