Alberto it is: First named tropical system chugs toward Gulf
May 27, 2018, 00:23
The apparent development of the center somewhat farther east (closer to Florida) means that gustier winds, possibly over 40 miles per hour, might affect the west coast of Florida, so a Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the west-central coast including the Tampa Bay area.
Rick Scott said Saturday morning that his declared state of emergency covers all 67 counties to "prepare for the torrential rain and severe flooding this storm will bring".
Alberto is a not a fully tropical storm and much of its worst weather is displaced from its center on its east side. A tropical storm watch also is in place along the Florida panhandle coast eastward to the Aucilla River, according to the Hurricane Center.
A National Hurricane Center map shows Alberto approaching the Gulf Coast on Monday, somewhere between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle. The subtropical storm will move into the Gulf of Mexico today. Royal Dutch Shell plc and Exxon Mobil had evacuated some personnel from offshore Gulf oil facilities on Friday.
The storm, which has not yet become fully tropical, was located 120 miles east-northeast of Cozumel, Mexico, and 70 miles south of Cuba's western tip.
Alberto will slowly continue to increase in intensity during this time period as environmental conditions becomes more favorable for intensification (less shear and anomalously warm waters in the northern Gulf) allowing to the transition to a warm core high end tropical storm or low-end hurricane.
The National Hurricane Center is reporting Subtropical Storm Albert will move by Cuba Saturday and is predicted to start its trek toward the Gulf of Mexico coast tomorrow.
"Rainfall accmumulations of 3 to 7 inches with maximum amounts of 10 inches are possible across the Florida Keys and southern and southwestern Florida", the Hurricane Center said.
A flash flood watch has been posted for parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and large areas of Florida. Swelling riverbanks, tornadoes and localized flooding are possible.
It is not organized enough yet to be a tropical storm, and is considered subtropical. Alberto comes ahead of schedule: the six-month hurricane season doesn't begin until June 1. Some areas will see up to 12 inches or more.
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