Subtropical Storm Alberto forms in Caribbean, threatens to drench Tampa Bay

Olive Hawkins
May 26, 2018

"However, once over water, it should develop into an organised tropical or subtropical storm system during the weekend".

US forecasters followed suit by issuing a tropical storm watch for parts of the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle southwest of Tallahassee to the New Orleans metropolitan area.

If it gains peak winds of 39 miles per hour and takes on the required meteorological characteristics it would become the first named storm of a season that doesn't begin officially until June 1. Given how wet it has been, any areas that can pick up another 1"-2" of rain between now and Saturday morning will be at a high risk for flash flooding. An average hurricane season -- June 1 to November 30 -- produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

As has been repeated all week, regardless of tropical development, heavy rainfall is expected in South Florida through the weekend.

Subtropical Storm Alberto forms in Caribbean, threatens to drench Tampa Bay

Abundant tropical moisture streaming north into the region on the eastern side of newly formed subtropical storm Alberto over the northwest Caribbean will increase the potential for heavy rain across all of Florida on Saturday and continuing through Monday evening. Kennedy said the farther east the storm tracks, the more impacts for Marion and Alachua counties. These systems should result in a faster motion of Alberto toward the central Gulf Coast over the weekend.

An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft will take a closer look at Alberto this afternoon and provide more detail on its structure and intensity.

Forecasters expect a subtropical or tropical depression to form by late Saturday over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. Through Monday, we may see rainfall totals ranging from 3 to 5 inches with some isolated higher amount of 6 to 7 inches possible. The latest forecast has it pushing even farther west of Citrus County. The storm surge watch was issued for a stretch from Horseshoe Beach, Florida, to the mouth of the Mississippi River. The threat for heavy rain will reach north into the Carolinas and Tennessee.

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.

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