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Subtropical Storm Alberto Heads Toward Gulf Coast

26 May 2018

It's expected to move north into the gulf, where there are more favorable conditions for tropical development.

The subtropical or tropical name is given to a storm with winds in excess of 39 miles per hour. At that point it might become stronger, although no strengthening is expected on Monday.

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. That's just below tropical storm strength. Winds of 40 mph extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km) from the center.

If the system develops, it would be named Alberto. The system will have rain impacts far outside the National Hurricane Center's projected path. The storm looks to take a turn to the northeast over the next couple days, before taking a leisurely left turn to the northwest toward the tail end of the holiday weekend. The storm has a minimum central pressure of 1005mb.

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"A tropical storm is likely to form in the eastern Gulf this weekend and track generally northward". There have been 14 named storms in May since 1950 and six since 2006.

A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, in this case within the next 24 hours. Much of the convection (thunderstorms) is east of the center of the storm (see Fig. 2). The storm could also slow down or stall, which would only increase the rain totals.

Computer forecast models are honing in a bit better on where it should go. It could make landfall anywhere between the MS and Alabama coasts. Now it seems that is likely within the next five days as it tracks north over the Yucatán Peninsula into the Gulf of Mexico. An Air Force Hurricane Hunter plane is scheduled to investigate the system Friday afternoon.

The storm is expected to bring heavy rain to the Yucatan Peninsula, western Cuba, Florida and the northeastern Gulf Coast throughout the weekend.

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The National Weather Service has issued flash flood advisories across the region.

"There is a chance that Alberto could be a hurricane before it makes landfall", said Andrew Kennedy, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Jacksonville.

Alberto will begin to bring us rain on Sunday night, but the rain chance looks to tick up more so beginning on Memorial Day and lasting through at least Wednesday.

- Forecasters have issued tropical storm and storm surge watches for parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast as Subtropical Storm Alberto approaches.

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Subtropical Storm Alberto Heads Toward Gulf Coast