Subtropical Storm Alberto is located about 105 miles north of the western tip of Cuba
Subtropical Storm Alberto remains active…and will steadily move through the Gulf of Mexico
Alberto is the first named storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.
Sub-tropical Storm Alberto is starting to move into the Gulf of Mexico now…then will push toward the northern Gulf Coast later Monday. Landfall is expected along the Gulf Coast between New Orleans and Panama City, Florida.
Thunderstorms with heavy rain are moving over western Cuba…and rain has overspread South Florida as well. Here’s the current radar image, along with the current flood alerts across Florida and the Gulf coast.
The primary threat from this system will be heavy rain and flash flooding in the Southeast…which could last well into the new week ahead. Heavy rains may eventually spread over the Ohio Valley and into the Northeast with time.
Maximum sustained winds are 40 mph
Here’s the animated GeoColor satellite for this system in the Gulf of Mexico (click image to enlarge)
Here’s what the computer models are showing for this storm.
Flash flooding will become an increasing threat…particularly over saturated parts of Florida and the Southeast. Where the winds push water from the Gulf of Mexico onshore…coastal flooding may result near and to the east of the storm’s path (storm surge).
Here’s the NOAA 5-day Precipitation Outlook graphic
Here’s a near real time wind profile of this subtropical storm.
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), before departing the storm, the Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft flew near the low-level cloud swirl that became apparent in visible satellite imagery over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico late this morning. Data from the plane indicate that the center had reformed in that location and that the pressure had fallen to 999 mb.
The aircraft did not sample the area to the east of the new center, but based on recent satellite classifications and surface observations the initial intensity remains 35 knots for this advisory. The primary mechanism for intensification appears to be a shortwave trough moving southeastward into the larger negatively tilted trough over the eastern Gulf, which should cause a cutoff low to form during the next 24 hours.
This is expected to result in deepening of Alberto while it moves generally northward over the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday and Sunday night. The shear is forecast to decrease as Alberto become co-located with the upper-level low and the system could transition to a more tropical cyclone-like structure before landfall. The NHC intensity forecast once again calls for steady strengthening through 36 hours, but shows little strengthening after that time due to the possibility of dry air intrusion.
The system has moved generally northward during the past 24 hours, however, the reformation of the center today makes the initial motion estimate more uncertain than normal. Alberto should move northward to north-northeastward tonight, and then turn north-northwestward and decelerate on Sunday and Sunday night as it moves around the eastern side of the trough/cutoff low. The dynamical models remain in good agreement on this scenario but have shifted eastward once again.
The interpolated guidance models lie a bit west of the model fields due to the more northwestward 1800 UTC initial position of Alberto. As a result, the NHC track is along the eastern edge of the guidance envelope as a compromise between the ECMWF/GFS model fields and trackers. The new NHC track forecast has required the issuance of a Tropical Storm Warning for a portion of the west coast of Florida and a Tropical Storm Warning for a portion of the northern Gulf Coast.
1. Regardless of its exact track and intensity, Alberto is expected to produce heavy rainfall and flash flooding over western Cuba, southern Florida and the Florida Keys. Rainfall and flooding potential will increase across the central U.S. Gulf Coast region and over much of the southeastern United States beginning Sunday and will continue into next week.
2. Tropical-storm-force winds and hazardous storm surge are possible along portions of the central and eastern U.S. Gulf Coast beginning on Sunday, including areas well east of the track of Alberto’s center, and tropical storm and storm surge watches are in effect for portions of these areas. Residents in the watch areas are encouraged not to focus on the details of the forecast track of Alberto and should follow any guidance given by their local government officials.
3. Dangerous surf and rip current conditions are affecting portions of the Yucatan Peninsula and western Cuba and will likely spread along the eastern and central U.S. Gulf Coast later today and tonight.
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
RAINFALL: Alberto is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 15 inches with isolated totals of 25 inches across western Cuba. These rains could produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. Rainfall accumulations of 3 to 7 inches with maximum amounts of 10 inches are possible across the Florida Keys and southern and southwest Florida. Heavy rains will begin to affect the central Gulf Coast region into the southeastern United States on Sunday and continue into the middle of next week as Alberto moves northward after landfall. Rainfall totals of 5 to 10 inches with maximum amounts of 15 inches are possible along the track of Alberto from eastern Louisiana, across much of Mississippi, Alabama, western Tennessee and the western Florida panhandle. Rainfall totals of 3 to 5 inches with maximum totals of 8 inches possible from the southern Appalachians into the coastal southeast.
WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected within portions of the warning area in Cuba through this evening. Tropical storm conditions are expected in the Dry Tortugas later today and tonight. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area along the Florida west coast on Sunday, and along the northern Gulf Coast by Sunday night or early Monday.
STORM SURGE: The combination of storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide…
Crystal River to the Mouth of the Mississippi River…2 to 4 feet
The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances.
TORNADOES: A tornado or two may occur over the Florida Keys and parts of southwestern Florida late this afternoon through tonight.
SURF: Swells generated by Alberto are affecting portions of the coast of eastern Yucatan Peninsula and western Cuba. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Hazardous surf conditions are likely to develop along much of the central and eastern U.S. Gulf Coast through the weekend.
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…
* Crystal River to the Mouth of the Mississippi River
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Cuban province of Pinar del Rio
* Dry Tortugas
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* Boca Grande to Anclote River
* Aucilla River to Grand Isle
* Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas
A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life- threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, in the indicated locations during the next 48 hours.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case within the next 24 hours. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible in the United States portion of that watch area within 48 hours.
There are no current tropical cyclones
NOAA satellite image of the Atlantic
Gulf of Mexico
There are no current tropical cyclones
Latest satellite image of the Gulf of Mexico
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