The storm was officially announced a day after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 2018 hurricane season forecast release.
Center is located roughly 195 miles southwest of Cuba with a minimum pressure of 1005 mb and sustained winds of 40 mph moving NNE at 6 mph. Showers and storms will fire up this afternoon, mainly in Northeastern North Carolina.
Alberto is expected to pass the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula tonight, according to the NHC’s first Alberto update. The system is expected to stay to the west of South Florida as it moves through the Gulf of Mexico.
Because the system is sucking so much moisture from the Caribbean, much of Florida, the north Gulf Coast and western Cuba should brace for heavy rain.
Forecasters said the system continued to become better defined early Friday and will likely form in the northwestern Caribbean sea or southeastern Gulf.
Technically, hurricane season begins June 1, but the first cyclone of the year has already arrived.
National Weather Service meteorologists said details of the weekend forecast are dependent on the track and development of would-be Alberto in the Gulf of Mexico.
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.
It’s too early to pinpoint those areas along the Gulf Coast yet, if even an issue in Northwest Florida.
He expected the heaviest rain to hold off until late Saturday and linger until perhaps Tuesday.
Dan Kottlowski, hurricane expert for AccuWeather, said he expects the weather system to turn into a named storm by the weekend. For Alberto to be considered a “tropical” storm, relatively warm air must be contained within its center.
When you break it all down, get ready for more rain over the next seven to ten days. In contrast to a tropical storm or hurricane, where the strongest winds are at the center, a subtropical storm can have the most powerful winds far from the core.