Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

First named storm of season forms

First named storm of season forms

Locally, the storm will produce heavy bands of rain and storms as the center of circulation is set to impact in the Gulf Coast.

You can thank subtropical storm Alberto for the soggy three-day weekend.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service warn that storms will be in effect from 8 a.m. Saturday through 8 p.m. Sunday.

The National Weather Service said a flash flood watch would be in effect from Saturday evening through Tuesday evening for southeastern MS, southwestern Alabama and the western Florida Panhandle.

Alberto is barely at tropical storm levels, but are forecast to increase. It will emerge over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by Saturday night, and approach the north-central Gulf Coast on Monday.

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So, what in the world is a "Subtropical Storm?"

The storm is expected to bring heavy rain to the Yucatan Peninsula, western Cuba, Florida and the northeastern Gulf Coast throughout the weekend.

The immediate Tampa Bay area could experience tropical storm-force winds by Saturday morning, forecasters said, and conditions along the coast could become risky with high winds and rip currents. "Areas north and east of landfall could see 4-6" of rain from this system.

Hurricane season officially starts on June 1.

The National Hurricane Center said Friday that a low pressure system in the northwestern Caribbean Sea has become better defined overnight and could be a tropical depression or storm by Saturday.

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The National Hurricane Center may have an Air Force reconnaissance aircraft investigate the system on Friday.

It's called a "subtropical storm" because it's something of a hybrid between a nontropical low-pressure area and a classic tropical storm. A storm surge watch was issued for the coast from from Horseshoe Beach in Florida's Big Bend west to the mouth of the Mississippi River. All of Florida will be on the eastern side of the storm, threatened most by heavy rainfall with 2-3 inches forecasted.

The Memorial Day weekend in Texas, however, should be mostly hot and dry.

The rain won't fall uniformly across the area, however.

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