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

First tropical system of the season possible this weekend

First tropical system of the season possible this weekend

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

Forecasters from AccuWeather believe the depression could make landfall in the United States by Memorial Day, potentially ruining the holiday weekend for millions of Americans.

Depending on the exact track and strength, while it's not expected to become a hurricane, we could see tropical storm force winds in spots, minor storm surge and even some severe thunderstorms.

"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 80 mph", writes Jeff Masters of the Weather Underground.

Tropical depression formation expected Saturday
Watching the Tropics this Memorial Day Weekend

"Regardless of development, the counter-clockwise flow of air around this low-pressure system in combination with a very wet tropical air mass will funnel large amounts of tropical moisture over Cuba and the Southeast U.S., resulting in very heavy rains during the coming week", Masters said.

Now spinning off of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, forecasters named the subtropical storm "Alberto," which is the first of 21 names the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has on its list of possible storm names for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

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. A gradual strengthening was expected through the weekend as it moves north.

Rainfall accumulations of 4 - 8 inches are forecast across portions of the Florida Keys, and south and southwest Florida, with up to 12 inches possible in some locations.

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Heavy rain will be the biggest threat from Invest 90-L for the Tampa Bay area.

Tropical storm watches are in effect for Tulum to Cabo Catoche, Mexico, and the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio.

Just past year, we had a named storm - Tropical Storm Arlene - east of Bermuda in April.

The area of low pressure is forecasted to move into the Gulf of Mexico where conditions could become more favorable for organization.

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The weather service said on Friday morning that confidence continued to increase that a "significant" rain event will affect the northern Gulf Coast this weekend.

Flooding was possible in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties after weeks of rain, with tornadoes possible Saturday and Sunday and rip currents expected on both coasts, forecasters said.

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