Sub-Tropical Storm Alberto is located about 200 miles southwest of Cozumel, Mexico
The area of disturbed weather formerly referred to as Invest 90L, has finally spun-up into Sub-Tropical Storm Alberto…in the northwestern Caribbean Sea
Maximum sustained winds…40 mph
Here’s the animated GeoColor satellite images for this system in the Caribbean Sea
This newly formed storm is producing thundershowers over the northwestern Caribbean…eastward to the western tip of Cuba.
Alberto will move slowly into the central or eastern Gulf of Mexico this weekend, which will bring the threat of heavy rain and flash flooding to a large area of the Southeast and Florida…lasting into next week.
The models show the storm moving inland somewhere between easternmost Louisiana and Florida’s Apalachee Bay. Cities that lie in the potential track include New Orleans; Gulfport, Mississippi; Mobile, Alabama; and Pensacola and Panama City, Florida.
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.
Here’s the NOAA 5-day Precipitation Outlook graphic
Here’s a near real time wind profile of this tropical storm.
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the broad low pressure system that the NHC has been tracking for the past several days over the Yucatan Peninsula, has finally moved offshore over the waters of the northwestern Caribbean Sea. Although the system possesses multiple low-level circulations, the overall larger circulation has improved since yesterday.
Given that the system has been interacting with a sharp upper-level trough, the strongly sheared low has been designated a subtropical storm. The initial intensity is based on buoy and ship observations of 30-35 kt. Ship 3ETA7 located just northeast of the center at 1100Z reported 45-kt winds at 50 meters elevation. Those winds equate to 35-40 kt at 10 meters elevation.
An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter Aircraft is scheduled to investigate Alberto later this afternoon and provide more information on the storm’s structure and intensity.
The broad inner-core wind field and multiple swirls makes the short-term motion forecast a little tricky. However, a large subtropical ridge to the east should generally induce a slow north to north-northeastward motion for the next 24 hours or so.
After that, the ridge across the western Atlantic and Florida, along with a mid/upper-level low forecast to develop over the central Gulf of Mexico, should result in a faster northward motion at 36-48 hours, followed by a gradual turn toward the northwest around the northern fringe of the aforementioned mid/upper-level low.
By 96 hours, the cyclone is forecast to slow down significantly as it nears the north-central Gulf Coast, due to a large weakness in the subtropical ridge forecast to develop over the Deep South.
Given the broad inner-core wind field and belligerent westerly wind shear forecast to persist for the next 48 hours or so, only gradual intensification is expected. By 72 hours, however, when the cyclone is forecast to move slowly over above-normal sea surface temperatures, and weak wind shear, some additional strengthening could occur. For now, the intensity forecast will remain conservative due to possible intrusion of dry mid-level air before landfall.
1. Regardless of its exact track and intensity, Alberto is expected to produce heavy rainfall and flash flooding over the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, western Cuba, southern Florida and the Florida Keys. Rainfall and flooding potential will increase across the central Gulf Coast region and the southeastern United States later this weekend and early next week when Alberto is expected to slow down after it moves inland.
2. Alberto could bring tropical storm conditions and storm surge to portions of the central and eastern Gulf Coast later this weekend and early next week, although it is too soon to specify the exact location and magnitude of these impacts. Residents in these areas should monitor the progress of Alberto, as tropical storm and storm surge watches may be required later today or tonight.
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 this weekend.
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
RAINFALL: 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. These rains could produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. Rainfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches with maximum amounts of 12 inches are possible across the Florida Keys and southern and southwestern Florida. Heavy rain will likely begin to affect the central Gulf Coast region and the southeastern Untied States later this weekend and continue into early next week. Flooding potential will increase across this region early next week as Alberto is forecast to slow down after it moves inland.
WIND: Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area through Saturday.
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 this weekend.
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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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