Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Subtropical Storm Alberto could be a rainmaker, but not for Texas

Subtropical Storm Alberto could be a rainmaker, but not for Texas

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

The first tropical storm of the season, Alberto, has formed near Cuba and Mexico and appears to be heading for Florida.

Note the heavy rain that will fall along and to the east of the tropical storm. It will send a plume of tropical moisture towards the Gulf Coast for the weekend and that means very heavy rainfall is possible. Gradual strengthening is forecast for the next 48 hours.

Alberto was moving east at 5 miles per hour with 40 miles per hour sustained winds.

The next advisory will be issued at 4:00 pm Friday.

Alberto is expected to pass near the eastern coast of the Yucatan peninsula Friday night.

Winds of 40 mph extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km) from the center. The storm has a minimum central pressure of 1005mb. A hurricane hunter plane is scheduled to fly into the storm later today.

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The NHC said Friday afternoon that Alberto was "meandering over the northwestern Caribbean Sea". That general northward movement is expected for the next couple of days as Alberto works its way through the Gulf of Mexico before it turns to the northwest Monday.

The official start of hurricane season isn't until June 1. It does look like conditions will be favorable for some development as it moves into the Gulf Of Mexico.

The impacts from the system will stay east of Southeast Texas.

The system is now near the Yucatan Peninsula but could develop in the Southern Gulf by Saturday, ABC News reports. Accuweather hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski took that a step further Friday afternoon, saying, "We can not rule out the possibility of this system becoming a hurricane before it makes landfall sometime on Monday or Monday night". Therefore, a Flash Flood Watch is in effect through that time. Walton County is not now under a flood watch, according to the National Weather Service in Tallahassee, but that could change.

One of the biggest concerns with Alberto continued to be rain, and the potential for widespread flooding.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said the state is preparing. With a subtropical storm, the strongest winds and thunderstorms are located far away from the center, even though they may be just as strong as those found in a tropical storm.

There's a 90percent chance that a tropical or subtropical depression or storm may hit the Gulf Coast over Memorial Day weekend.

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