Science

Prepare for Subtropical Storm Alberto, Gulf Coast Leaders Warn

Prepare for Subtropical Storm Alberto, Gulf Coast Leaders Warn

Put simply, Alberto's strongest winds and storms are well to the east of its circulation for right now, but it will likely begin to wrap up and become more centralized as it moves into the Gulf this weekend.

"However, once over water, it should develop into an organised tropical or subtropical storm system during the weekend".

If it gains peak winds of 39 miles per hour and takes on the required meteorological characteristics it would become the first named storm of a season that doesn't begin officially until June 1.

Heavy rain could also be bad news for farmers.

For the 4th year in a row, a storm has been named ahead of the official start to "hurricane season".

WIND: Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area through Saturday.

The first tropical storm of the year is about to form in the Gulf of Mexico.

Prepare for Subtropical Storm Alberto, Gulf Coast Leaders Warn
Prepare for Subtropical Storm Alberto, Gulf Coast Leaders Warn

In the agency's latest update at 6:30 a.m. Friday, meteorologists said satellite images and surface observations indicate that the low pressure system, which is now located over the northwestern Caribbean Sea just east of the Yucatan Peninsula, has become better defined overnight, and thunderstorm activity has also increased and become better organized.

Areas along the coast can expect 3-6 inches of rain, with even more expected in the coastal Carolinas and southern Florida.

Per NHC, an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to investigate the disturbance Friday afternoon, if necessary.

Prior to 2002 subtropical storms were not given names, but the Tropical Prediction Center issued forecasts and warnings on them similar to those for tropical cyclones. Texas, as well as the rest of the western Gulf, will be left out of any of the tropical rains. It's expected to continue moving north through the Gulf over the weekend, with gradual strengthening. For more information, consult products from your local weather office.

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.

At this point, the Charlotte area could get two to four inches of rain, with some locations getting as much as five inches.

Sheriff's Capt. Dave DeCarlo, the county's emergency management director, said Citrus should avoid the heaviest of rains, storm surge and winds.