New Orleans under tropical storm watch; see Subtropical Storm Alberto's latest track

Ismael LynchMay 26, 2018

The first named storm of 2018 in the Atlantic Ocean has developed in the western Caribbean, and its name is Alberto.

"Alberto is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 15 inches with isolated totals of 25 inches across the northeastern portions of the Yucatan Peninsula and western Cuba", the National Hurricane Center said.

The National Hurricane Center map shows the cone-shaped area where the system is most likely to organize into a tropical or subtropical depression - again, in the Gulf away from Florida. Hurricane season officially begins June 1, but a tropical storm does occasionally form before then, including the past three hurricane seasons.

The storms' names come from six lists that are recycled, so this year's was previously used in 2012.

The rain won't fall uniformly across the area, however. All of Florida will be on the eastern side of the storm, threatened most by heavy rainfall with 2-3 inches forecasted.

"Alberto is now struggling to survive strong wind shear and very dry air in the mid and upper levels now disrupting the developing convection", he explained.

As Alberto moves into the Gulf on Saturday, Southwest Florida will be in the infamous right front quadrant of the storm. It's too early to pinpoint those areas along the Gulf Coast yet, if even an issue in Northwest Florida.

Locally heavy rainfall is forecast across western Cuba and over much of Florida and the northern Gulf Coast and The Southeast States, that includes all of SC, into early next week. Often, these storms have a radius of maximum winds which is farther out than what is observed for purely "tropical" systems. Winds will calm down on Memorial Day as Alberto moves onshore far to our north.

In fact, latest estimates put the totals anywhere between 6 and 12 inches of rain through Tuesday of next week.

Forecasters will also be on the lookout for severe storms, which could be possible depending on the track and intensity of Alberto. Additionally, as the wind field strengthens and expands around the system, our winds will increase and there is a threat of some thunderstorm wind damage with sporadic power outages especially Saturday night and Sunday.

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