Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Research | By Clarence Powell

Hurricane names: One was booted from the 2018 list

Hurricane names: One was booted from the 2018 list

The National Hurricane Center said Friday that a low pressure system in the northwestern Caribbean Sea has become better defined overnight and could be a tropical depression or storm by Saturday.

Forecasters expect Suptropical Storm Alberto to move into the Gulf and toward the Gulf Coast this weekend.

The National Hurricane Center predicts that Alberto could have sustained winds of 65 miles per hour - not far from hurricane-force - by Monday when it is approaching the coast near Mobile, Ala., and Biloxi, Miss. This could be just a tropical storm, or it could gain minimal hurricane strength.

Alberto is not a fully tropical system, with most of its worst weather on its eastern side. Alberto would mark the first named storm of the 2018 Atlantic season.

It's still unknown how big Alberto could get - some forecasting models show it hovering around as a tropical depression with heavy rains, while others show its wind speeds growing all the way to hurricane force.

Tropical depression formation expected Saturday
Alberto Becomes First Named Tropical Storm of 2018 Season, Projected For US Landfall On Monday |

At the meeting, Gov. Scott urged Floridians to watch the weather closely and make a plan. Right now, heavy flooding rain, gusty winds, and isolated tornadoes are possible for South Florida, according to Bryan Norcross, a hurricane specialist at The Weather Channel. If the storm goes east of the projected track, the impacts will lessen.

Just previous year, we had a named storm - Tropical Storm Arlene - east of Bermuda in April.

None of this affects the forecast for South Florida and the Florida peninsula, however. With a tropical storm, the maximum winds and strongest thunderstorms sit close to the center of the storm.

The Gulf system, whatever form it takes, will draw deep tropical moisture from the Caribbean directly over the peninsula beginning late Friday and increasing over the Memorial Day weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, those downpours become even more widespread and some could produce a lot of heavy rain in a short time! If Alberto jogs west of the forecast track, the area could see the chance of flooding rains increase.

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