Alberto forms in the Caribbean, heavy rains forecast

Tropical depression formation expected Saturday

Alberto forms in the Caribbean, heavy rains forecast

Now spinning off of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, forecasters named the subtropical storm "Alberto", which is the first of 21 names the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has on its list of possible storm names for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

The Memorial Day weekend in Texas, however, should be mostly hot and dry.

Subtropical Storm Alberto - the first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season - was roiling parts of coastal Mexico and Cuba with rip currents and risky surf on Friday. The threat continues to be for periods of heavy rain. An average hurricane season -- June 1 to November 30 -- produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

Forecast cones show the storm moving between Cuba and Mexico Saturday morning before heading toward the western Florida panhandle and the coasts of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

May tropical storms have formed in the Atlantic region several times in the past decade: Arthur in 2008, Alberto and Beryl in 2012, Ana in 2015 and Bonnie in 2016.

Alberto forms in the Caribbean, heavy rains forecast

Tropical storm watches were issued for eastern Yucatan Peninsula and the western tip of Cuba. Tropical storm and storm surge watches could be required for portions of the area later today or tonight. If it stays to our east, we will still get very heavy rainfall, but it would be more spread out and generally lower totals overall. It was moving north-northeast at 6 miles per hour, with winds of 40 miles per hour. The Florida Keys and southern areas of Florida could expect rainfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches, possibly as much as 12 inches.

An Air Force Reserve aircraft was expected to further investigate the weather pattern Friday, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. These systems should result in a faster motion of Alberto toward the central Gulf Coast over the weekend.

Tropical Storm Alberto will bring rain to North Carolina over the Memorial Day weekend, but it appears the worst of it will hold off until Sunday night through Monday.

The National Weather Service said a flash flood watch would be in effect from Saturday evening through Tuesday evening for southeastern MS, southwestern Alabama, and the western Florida Panhandle. In a purely tropical system, the highest winds would be closer to the center.

- Many parts of north Georgia are already pretty waterlogged from daily downpours over the last week.

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