High chance for a tropical system to form in the Gulf


Currently, there is a 90%, or high, chance that this becomes either our first tropical depression or tropical storm of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Alberto is sitting east of the Yucatan Peninsula with sustained winds of 40 miles per hour and is expected to move north into the Gulf of Mexico, where conditions are favorable for further development. It has maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour.

Alberto is forecast to head for the northern Gulf Coast over the weekend and make landfall Monday near the Florida - Alabama line as a tropical storm.

The tropical threat comes earlier than usual.

Rain from Subtropical Storm Alberto is expected to will drench the Memorial Day weekend
A cyclist tries to stay dry along Collins Ave. in Miami Beach Fla. on Friday

"Instead of having warmer temperatures throughout its core, like a tropical storm, its upper levels are still quite cool, like what you'd typically see with winter and spring low pressure systems", said Will Ulrich, a meteorologist with the Weather Service in Melbourne.

Even though June 1 is generally the start of hurricane season, early storms are not uncommon. These systems should result in a faster motion of Alberto toward the central Gulf Coast over the weekend.

In its 4 p.m. advisory, the National Hurricane Center said the storm had changed little in intensity, but was slowly drifting east.

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

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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. Presently, the main impacts appear to be heavy rainfall and possible flooding.

Because of this, the South Shore, Coastal Mississippi, St. Tammany Parish and Southern Tangipahoa Parish are under a flash flood watch. It will send a plume of tropical moisture towards the Gulf Coast for the weekend and that means very heavy rainfall is possible.

Winds and rough surf will create strong rip currents on the beaches and inland waters will be choppy.

Heavy rains from Alberto certainly bring flooding into the picture for Lakeland, which enters the weekend with the third-highest rainfall total for the month of May in the last 100 years.

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