The third tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season formed near the southeastern Bahamas on August 24, 2014. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASAís Terra satellite captured this true-color image on August 25. At that time, the stormís strongest convective bands reached over the Turks and Caicos Islands and the eastern Bahamas, bringing rainfall to the area. Its asymmetrical shape suggests interaction with wind shear.
System 96L lingered in the eastern Caribbean for a few days before becoming a tropical depression on August 23. That depression strengthened into a tropical storm during the morning of August 24. Because of its proximity to land, the birth of Cristobal sparked Tropical Storm Warnings for Southeastern Bahamas, Including the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, the Inaguas, Mayaguana, the Ragged Islands, as well as the Turks and Caicos Islands, Central Bahamas, Including Cat Island, The Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay, and San Salvador.
Heavy rainfall is a problem for the islands because Cristobal is moving so slowly. The National Hurricane Center noted that the tropical storm is expected to produce rainfall totals of 4 to 8 inches over the Turks and Caicos as well as portions of the southeastern and central Bahamas through August 26, with isolated amounts around 12 inches possible. Minor flooding was already reported during the morning of August 25 near Pirates Cove on Mayaguana Island.
At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) August 25, Cristobal was centered about 120 miles (195 km) east-northeast of San Salvador Island, Bahamas, and 715 miles (1,150 km) southwest of Bermuda. That puts the center of Tropical Storm Cristobel near latitude 24.6 north and longitude 72.7 west. Cristobal's maximum sustained winds were near 60 mph (95 km/h) and some strengthening is expected over the next two days. Cristobal is moving toward the north-northeast near 2 mph (4 km/h) and is expected to turn northeast and speed up on Tuesday, August 26.
At 8:20 p.m. EDT on August 25, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) upgraded Cristobal to Hurricane status, with winds of 75 mph (120 km/h). The forecast is that wind shear, which holds strengthening down, will ebb and flow over the next 48 hours or so. Cristobal is expected to pass the to the west and north of Bermuda on August 27, then it should pass over much cooler waters and again battle additional wind shear, reducing its strength.