Subtropical Storm Alberto forms over the northwestern Caribbean Sea

Arturo Kim
May 26, 2018

On Friday afternoon, the center of Alberto was meandering in the Caribbean about 85 miles south-southeast of Cozumel Mexico with sustained winds of 40 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

While some models project Alberto's strongest sustained winds will reach 65 miles per hour, the biggest threat for many in the northern Gulf states - including the Wiregrass area - is heavy rainfall.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for.

A storm system will be approaching the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday.

A subtropical storm has a less defined and cooler center than a tropical storm, and its strongest winds are found farther from its center. The highest winds are also now away from the center. Alberto is projected to make landfall somewhere between the Florida Panhandle and southern Louisiana Monday morning. A storm of this type is not unusual for this time period and region. The timing and amounts are still very speculative.

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The first named storm of 2018 in the Atlantic Ocean has developed in the western Caribbean, and its name is Alberto.

Dan Kottlowski, hurricane expert for AccuWeather, said he expects the weather system to turn into a named storm by the weekend.

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.

Generally wet and unsettled pattern continues through Thursday with southerly flow becoming more southwesterly and allowing the Gulf coast sea breeze to dominate.

A Storm Surge Watch has been issued for coastal Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson counties due to the potential for tides to rise 3 or more feet above normal. Right now, heavy flooding rain, gusty winds, and isolated tornadoes are possible for South Florida, according to Bryan Norcross, a hurricane specialist at The Weather Channel. In the Tampa Bay area, up to 8 inches of rain is possible. The rip current risk has been upgrades to high from today through Monday night for Alabama and Florida beaches.

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