Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Flash flood watch issued for south Louisiana ahead of Subtropical Storm Alberto

Flash flood watch issued for south Louisiana ahead of Subtropical Storm Alberto

It is unusual for storms to reach name criterion - winds of at least 39 miles per hour - in May in the Atlantic Basin, which includes the Gulf and Caribbean Sea.

The first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season made its debut before the season officially began.

The heavy rainfall will have the potential to cause flooding of low-lying and poor drainage areas. When it arrives, forecast models suggest it will spin up into at least a tropical depression and maybe even the hurricane season's first named 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.

Subtropical systems can develop into fully tropical storms if they remain over warm water for several days.

The immediate Tampa Bay area could experience tropical storm-force winds by Saturday morning, forecasters said, and conditions along the coast could become unsafe with high winds and rip currents. Tropical storm and storm surge watches could be required for portions of the area later today or tonight.

Tropical depression formation expected Saturday
Alberto forms in the Gulf, flooding rains forecast

Alberto should interact with a high-pressure system from the east over the weekend and that should result in higher winds, surf and rip current conditions along some of the beaches along the Nature Coast, DeCarlo said.

An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft will take a closer look at Alberto this afternoon and provide more detail on its structure and intensity.

A storm system will be approaching the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday. The hurricane center said up to 12 inches of rain was possible across the Florida Keys and southern and southwestern Florida. It is expected to produce 10 to 15 inches of rain across the northeastern region of the Yucatan Peninsula and western Cuba with isolated areas seeing as much as 25 inches of rain.

National Weather Service meteorologists said details of the weekend forecast are dependent on the track and development of would-be Alberto in the Gulf of Mexico. For more information, consult products from your local weather office.

Tropical Storm Alberto will bring rain to North Carolina over the Memorial Day weekend, but it appears the worst of it will hold off until Sunday night through Monday.

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