FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The already busy 2020 Atlantic hurricane season officially kicked off Monday with a tropical depression which is soon expected to become Tropical Storm Cristobal.
As of 11 a.m. EDT Tuesday, the depression was located about 140 miles off the eastern coast of Mexico out over the Bay of Campeche, moving west at 3 mph. It is expected to move slowly across the Gulf of Mexico during the week.
Maximum sustained winds were near 35 mph, just under the 39-mph minimum threshold for tropical storm-force winds.
National Weather Service meteorologist Robert Frye said Tuesday that winds should reach about 40 mph by about 2 p.m., which would turn the depression into a tropical storm.
A tropical storm warning remains in effect for Mexico's east coast, with tropical storm conditions expected no later than Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
"Conditions are fairly conducive over the Bay of Campeche," Frye said. "It should mingle down there for a little bit causing a lot of flooding and a lot of bad weather there for portions of Mexico."
The storm formed from the remnants of Tropical Storm Amanda, which formed briefly in the Pacific, off the coast of Central America and dissipated after making landfall in Guatemala. It is rare for a Pacific tropical system to regenerate as an Atlantic storm.
Heavy rain with the possibility of life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides is expected this week in southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize and western Honduras. Parts of Guatemala and El Salvador have already seen deadly flooding, the hurricane center said Tuesday.
Whether the U.S. will be impacted is not yet known.
"They have it moving to the north eventually, but not until much, much later into early next week," Frye said of the system's projected path. "The steering currents are just so light down there right now, and that's why it's kind of meandering -- which is bad news for Mexico because they're getting a lot of rain from it."