Subtropical Storm Alberto forms; watches issued for U.S., Mexico, Cuba

Tropical depression formation expected Saturday

As of Friday morning, the National Hurricane Center says there is a 90% chance we have our first tropical depression or Tropical Storm Alberto in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by Saturday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Friday afternoon that the tropical storm watch has been issued from Indian Pass, Florida, westward to Grand Isle, Louisiana along a swath that also includes parts of Alabama and Mississippi. Forecasters expect Alberto to intensify to a tropical storm Friday evening, but do not anticipate it to become a hurricane.

An early named storm doesn't indicate the this year's hurricane season will be more or less active than normal.

The rain won't fall uniformly across the area, however.

It's called a "subtropical storm" because it's something of a hybrid between a nontropical low-pressure area and a classic tropical storm.

Heavy rainfall is expected for Memorial Day Weekend in South Florida, as Subtropical Storm Alberto has formed over the Caribbean Sea. Heavy rain will likely begin to affect the central Gulf Coast region and the southeastern Untied States later this weekend and continue into early next week.

Subtropical Storm Alberto forms; watches issued for U.S., Mexico, Cuba

Along the coast there is going to be approximately three to six inches of rain.

The National Hurricane Center predicts that Alberto could have sustained winds of 65 miles per hour - not far from hurricane-force - by Monday when it is approaching the coast near Mobile, Ala., and Biloxi, Miss.

It might start as a subtropical depression - the atmosphere is not in a wholly tropical state over the Gulf - but if it sits over the warm Gulf waters long enough, it could well become Tropical Storm Alberto.

The NHC expects the storm to make landfall late Monday or early Tuesday around the MS or Alabama coast, at which point its strength should decrease and it will become a tropical depression.

The overall track of Alberto will be important to the amount of rain that can be expected across the Carolinas. Much of the convection (thunderstorms) is east of the center of the storm (see Fig. 2). Gusty winds and rough seas should increase Saturday, with tornadoes possible Saturday and Sunday.

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