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Flood watch announced for South Florida as Alberto forms in northwestern Caribbean

26 May 2018

The 1 p.m. update on Subtropical Storm Alberto from the National Hurricane Center says the story is still almost stationary. This will be a weekend for fireworks for the Memorial Day weekend and unfortunately, it will be a washout for the majority of the Southeast.

As of Wednesday morning, the U.S. National Hurricane Center raised the chance of tropical development to 60%, adding that if this next round of tropical moisture does become a named storm then it would be named Alberto, the first of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. "This system could also bring tropical-storm-force winds and storm surge to portions of the northern Gulf Coast by late this weekend or early next week".

While the track of Alberto seems fairly set at this point, how the storm's intensity develops will be important in how our weather plays out this weekend. A storm needs to hit sustained wind speeds of at least 74 miles per hour to be considered a storm, the least intense hurricane classification.

Flood watch announced for South Florida as Alberto forms in northwestern Caribbean
Flood watch announced for South Florida as Alberto forms in northwestern Caribbean

As the system begins to slowly move north, showers and a few thunderstorms with heavy rain will gradually increase from the Keys into South Florida.

Update 11 a.m.: The first forecast models are in from the NHC, and they show Alberto avoiding South Florida.

Western Cuba and a small area on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula are under a tropical storm watch.

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1988: Tropical Storm Alberto went as far as the Canadian Maritimes, but caused no major damage1994: Tropical Storm Alberto never made it to hurricane status, though warnings were issued. It's expected to gradually strengthen over the next three days. Similar rain totals are possible from southeastern Louisiana to central Georgia, with the coasts of Alabama and the western Florida Panhandle in a bullseye to receive the most rain.

Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground, said Invest 90L is moving north at about 5 miles per hour into an area where sea surface temperatures are between 77 and 82 degrees.

These rains could produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

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Dan Kottlowski, hurricane expert for AccuWeather, said he expects the weather system to turn into a named storm by the weekend. Rip current threats will also increase along the Gulf coast. For more information, consult products from your local weather office. It will disrupt many weekend plans from the beaches and much farther inland with repeated rounds of heavy rain.

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Flood watch announced for South Florida as Alberto forms in northwestern Caribbean