Subtropical Storm Alberto forms off coast of Mexico, forecasters say

Pablo Tucker
May 26, 2018

For the fourth consecutive time, Hurricane Season will start with a name already checked off before June 1st.

A tropical low is coming our way for the Memorial Day weekend. This would make Alberto a strong subtropical storm, although well short of the 74 miles per hour threshold for hurricane strength. A storm needs to hit sustained wind speeds of at least 74 miles per hour to be considered a storm, the least intense hurricane classification.

South Florida and the Florida peninsula can expect periods of heavy rain and gusty winds, including isolated tornadoes and 3 inches to 7 inches of rain from Friday through Wednesday.

Subtropical Storm Alberto forms off coast of Mexico, forecasters say

Update 11 a.m.: The first forecast models are in from the NHC, and they show Alberto avoiding South Florida.

A tropical storm watch was issued Friday for the northern Gulf Coast from Indian Pass, Florida westward to the metropolitan New Orleans, as well as for Mexico, from popular cruise destination Tulum to Cabo Catoche. For Alberto to be considered a "tropical" storm, relatively warm air must be contained within its center.

The National Weather Service has issued flash flood advisories across the region. It also means that any system (cluster of thunderstorms hanging out in the Caribbean) has the chance to move north and intensify in the Gulf of Mexico.

At this point, the Charlotte area could get two to four inches of rain, with some locations getting as much as five inches.

The National Weather Service said there was a 90 percent chance of it becoming a subtropical or tropical cyclone in the Gulf by the weekend.

Friday, Governor Rick Scott met with Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford and Panama City Beach Mayor Mike Thomas to prepare for upcoming impacts from Subtropical Storm Alberto.

Northwest Florida emergency management officials say some areas could see up to a foot of rain from late Saturday into Tuesday, and widespread flooding is to be expected. The hurricane center said up to 12 inches of rain was possible across the Florida Keys and southern and southwestern Florida. The threat for heavy rain will reach north into the Carolinas and Tennessee.

Winds and rough surf will create strong rip currents on the beaches and inland waters will be choppy.

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