Subtropical Storm Alberto forms; expected to soak Florida

Alberto forms in the Gulf, flooding rains forecast

Alberto, a pre-season subtropical storm, formed over the Northwestern Caribbean Sea Friday morning and will bring a wide swath of tropical moisture across the region as it moves northward in the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend.

It's called a "subtropical storm" because it's something of a hybrid between a nontropical low-pressure area and a classic tropical storm. But make no mistake, the risk of flash flooding will continue beyond Saturday morning as the tropical system begins to have more of an impact on our weather late in the weekend. Alberto started officially as a subtropical storm, a system that has some tropical characteristics but not all, and had 40-mph sustained wind as of the 1 p.m. weather briefing.

As of 2 p.m., Subtropical Storm Alberto — which formed Friday morning — was almost stationary about 60 miles south of Cozumel, Mexico, and had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.

Alberto marks the first named storm of the 2018 Atlantic season.

Its top sustained winds were 40 miles per hour (65 kph).

The storm is tracking north northwest at 6 miles per hour into the Gulf of Mexico.

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Forecasters will also be on the lookout for severe storms, which could be possible depending on the track and intensity of Alberto. An Air Force Hurricane Hunter plane is scheduled to investigate the system Friday afternoon.

Locally heavy rainfall is forecast across western Cuba and over much of Florida and the northern Gulf Coast and The Southeast States, that includes all of SC, into early next week.

Late in the forecast, Alberto is expected to significantly slow down as it approaches the coast. If Alberto jogs west of the forecast track, the area could see the chance of flooding rains increase.

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.

The Memorial Day weekend in Texas, however, should be mostly hot and dry.

The latest models have shifted the system farther to the left into parts of the MS and Alabama coast lines. Florida has already had heavy rain this month.

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