First named storm of Atlantic Hurricane Season has formed


The National Hurricane Center has upgraded Invest 90-L to Subtropical Storm Alberto, the first named storm ahead of the official June 1 hurricane season.

The storm, which by Friday morning had maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour, is expected to slow down when it reaches land, prolonging heavy rain. The northern Gulf Coast could then see flooding rain, winds strong enough to form tornadoes, and isolated storm surge flooding.

The storms' names come from six lists that are recycled, so this year's was previously used in 2012.

Yesterday, the National Hurricane Center released its 2018 hurricane forecast, and they expect 2018 to be an "active season", with between 10 to 16 named storms, five to nine of which being hurricanes.

Forecasters will also be on the lookout for severe storms, which could be possible depending on the track and intensity of Alberto.

At the meeting, Gov. Scott urged Floridians to watch the weather closely and make a plan. It is expected to move north into the Gulf of Mexico later today or tomorrow and gradually transition into a tropical storm.

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An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to investigate the low this afternoon, per NHC.

"Locally heavy rainfall is forecast across western Cuba and over much of Florida and the northern Gulf coast into early next week", senior hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart said in Friday's tropical weather outlook. "There could be some possible high surf with hazardous high risk of rip currents along the beaches". The flood watch goes into effect at 2 p.m. Saturday and runs through 8 p.m. Monday.

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY: Scattered thunderstorms well away from Alberto are possible in the afternoons.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the system, now centered over the southeastern Yucatan Peninsula, is becoming better defined.

He said: "Coastal flooding can occur along Florida's west coast and the coastal communities of the panhandle".

By Saturday afternoon and evening rain will become more widespread and heavier as Alberto drifts northeast closer to Southwest Florida.