Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Science | By

Alberto, first tropical storm for the season, forms, heads for Florida

Alberto, first tropical storm for the season, forms, heads for Florida

The center of Alberto may hit land somewhere between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle late Monday, but its bands of heavy rain will spread all across the Florida peninsula and into the Southeast.

As of 11 p.m. Friday, the NHC said, Alberto remained weak.

A flood watch was issued by the National Weather Service on Friday afternoon for a huge area encompassing all the counties in west-central and southwest Florida, including Polk County.

Alberto is barely at tropical storm levels, but are forecast to increase. That general northward movement is expected for the next couple of days as Alberto works its way through the Gulf of Mexico before it turns to the northwest Monday.

"Alberto could bring tropical storm conditions and storm surge to portions of the central and eastern Gulf Coast later this weekend and early next week", the hurricane center said.

The National Hurricane Center map shows the cone-shaped area where the system is most likely to organize into a tropical or subtropical depression - again, in the Gulf away from Florida.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season officially begins in June, but we're getting started early with the National Hurricane Center's first official forecast of Subtropical Storm Alberto.

The first named storm of the season is in the western Caribbean. Relatively dry weather is expected in SW Lower Michigan and very dry weather will continue from S. California east to Texas.

The Government of Mexico has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula from Tulum to Cabo Catoche.

An Air Force Reserve aircraft was expected to further investigate the weather pattern Friday, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Rainfall by the end of the weekend is expected to be between 2 and 4 inches, but areas close to the Gulf Coast could see as much as 6 or 7 inches depending on how Alberto develops and tracks. It's heading is north into the Gulf where it's impacts will range from strong rip currents and active seas to heavy rain and flash flooding inland.

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