Subtropical Storm Alberto forms; expected to soak Florida

NHC    
   ON TRACK Tropical storm Alberto is on course to hit the US over the weekend

It may later become a regular Tropical Storm.

If the storm organizes into a closed low with winds less than 39 miles per hour, it will likely become our first tropical depression of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Hurricane season officially begins June 1, but a tropical storm does occasionally form before then, including the past three hurricane seasons.

At 11 a.m. PDT on Friday, Alberto was 60 miles south of Cozumel, Mexico, with sustained winds of 40 mph, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said. By Saturday morning, it's expected to reach Cuba's western side, before it hits the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Saturday night. The Jacksonville metro area is expected to receive 2-4 inches of rain by the end of the holiday weekend.

On Thursday morning, the National Hurricane Center gave the seemingly-disorganized cluster of thunderstorms a 40 percent chance of developing in the next 48 hours and an 80 percent chance in the next five days.

Torrential rain, flooding and thunderstorms are likely across the Caribbean, the Gulf states and southern U.S. states even if a tropical storm does not materialise.

NHC    
     PATH The low pressure is currently forming over the formed over the Yucatan Peninsula
NHC PATH The low pressure is currently forming over the formed over the Yucatan Peninsula

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

Atlantic tropical storms have formed in May several times in the past decade: Arthur in 2008, Alberto and Beryl in 2012, Ana in 2015 and Bonnie in 2016.

Areas along the coast can expect 3-6 inches of rain, with even more expected in the coastal Carolinas and southern Florida. 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.

A Storm Surge Watch is also posted for the northern Gulf coast region.

That system on Sunday and Monday likely will continue moving north and dumping heavy rains along the Gulf Coast. The winds will create rip current dangers and hazardous boating conditions.




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