Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Sci-tech | By Laverne Osborne

Subtropical Storm Alberto Heads Toward Gulf Coast

Subtropical Storm Alberto Heads Toward Gulf Coast

Alberto is sitting east of the Yucatan Peninsula with sustained winds of 40 miles per hour and is expected to move north into the Gulf of Mexico, where conditions are favorable for further development.

Heavy rains from the Gulf of Mexico spawned flooding in the Southeastern states ahead of what forecasters said Wednesday could become the year's first tropical storm just as tourist season begins.

The National Hurricane Center's latest data indicates a low-pressure system now over the northwestern Caribbean Sea has become "better defined" overnight, and could bring tropical-storm-force winds and storm surge to the northern Gulf Coast late this weekend or early next week.

Areas along the coast can expect 3-6 inches of rain, with even more expected in the coastal Carolinas and southern Florida. "Rainfall amounts of 5 to 8 inches, and possibly locally up to double these amounts are possible in this area with this event", the NWS said. Heavy rains are likely across western Cuba, much of Florida and the northern Gulf Coast into early next week.

Tropical-storm force winds will be possible in western Cuba and in the northern Gulf coast area where watches are posted.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially starts June 1, but pre-season storms are not uncommon.

Tropical Storm

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

The main difference between a tropical storm and a subtropical storm comes down to the structure.

"Regardless of development, very heavy rain and flooding are possible for portions of South FL this weekend", the National Weather Service said.

We are watching this system closely as we head into the Memorial Day Weekend. Along with heavy rains and high winds come rough seas and a threat of rip currents from Florida to Louisiana that can sweep swimmers out to sea.

The center of the poorly organized system was situated a short distance off the east shore of the Yucatan Peninsula, moving slowly east at 2 miles per hour.

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