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

Subtropical Storm Alberto forms off coast of Mexico, forecasters say

Subtropical Storm Alberto forms off coast of Mexico, forecasters say

The storm was officially announced a day after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 2018 hurricane season forecast release.

Subtropical Storm Alberto developed Friday morning and is located about 55 miles south of Cozumel, Mexico.

"The latest. Thursday runs of our top intensity models. predicted [the storm] could get considerably stronger than previously thought, with peak winds ranging from 40 mph.to 80 mph", writes Jeff Masters of the Weather Underground.

However, because of Alberto's expected winds and rain, a tropical storm watch was issued for Mexico, from Tulum to Cabo Catoche, and for the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio. The system is expected to stay to the west of South Florida as it moves through the Gulf of Mexico.

The center of Alberto may hit land somewhere between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle late Monday, but its bands of heavy rain will spread all across the Florida peninsula and into the Southeast. It will send a plume of tropical moisture towards the Gulf Coast for the weekend and that means very heavy rainfall is possible.

An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to fly to the area at 3 p.m. Friday to sample more precise measurements of the atmosphere and determine the system's strength. A ridge of high pressure will build in from the southwest, producing the hottest weather of the year so far.

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The official start of hurricane season isn't until June 1.

Friday, Governor Rick Scott met with Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford and Panama City Beach Mayor Mike Thomas to prepare for upcoming impacts from Subtropical Storm Alberto.

Periods of heavy rain is expected as Sunday progresses into Monday and Tuesday.

It will be important to check in frequently with the FOX 5 Storm Team over the weekend and use your FOX 5 Storm Team app to help better time from one day to the next when breaks may happen or when rain and lightning may threaten your area.

The Cayman National Weather Service advises that while the forecast path of Alberto is away from the islands, residents are encouraged to continue to monitor the storm's progress as it is expected to influence local weather condition from this weekend into the earlier part of next week.

"The usual low-lying areas will flood", DeCarlo said. Expect a few more clouds by the afternoon hours. But on any given day, there will be breaks in between the rounds of rain.

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