Subtropical Storm Alberto forms in the Atlantic


On the forecast track, Alberto is expected to pass near the eastern coast of the Yucatan peninsula tonight, be near the western tip of Cuba Saturday morning, emerge over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by Saturday night, and approach the central Gulf Coast on Monday.

The latest update from the National Hurricane Center shows a 90 percent chance that a low-pressure system now drifting slowly over the eastern Yucatan Peninsula will develop into a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico during the next five days. It will disrupt many weekend plans from the beaches and much farther inland with repeated rounds of heavy rain.

Subtropical Storm Alberto remains disorganized and nearly stationary near the island of Cozumel off of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. "This system could also bring tropical-storm-force winds and storm surge to portions of the northern Gulf Coast by late this weekend or early next week".

"Expect some unsafe conditions along the beach", Wynn said. We could see minor coastal flooding and we certainly will see a high risk of rip currents.

Red flags warning of unsafe surf conditions are already flying along some beaches.

"It will hit you pretty hard. and it sucks you right back out".

"It's not a very strong system", she said.

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Forecasters from AccuWeather believe the depression could make landfall in the USA by Memorial Day, potentially ruining the holiday weekend for millions of Americans. But Julie Hilton said people are cancelling because of the weather and room reservations are down about 20 percent.

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.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially starts June 1, but pre-season storms are not uncommon.

These rains could produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. Because the ground is already saturated due to all the recent rain we've had, the flooding concern is high.

Rain chances are at 70 to 80 percent throughout the Memorial Day weekend and not expected to let up until mid-week, at 40 percent. Even those days there should be breaks in the rain.

Memorial Day is the traditional beginning of beach season, but the weather service issued warnings about unsafe currents along the Gulf Coast during the holiday period.