Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Sci-tech | By Bennie Mills

NHC: 90-percent chance of tropical system forming

NHC: 90-percent chance of tropical system forming

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, but like this system, some develop outside of that period. And it will absolutely drench South Florida just in time for a three-day weekend.

The National Hurricane Center officially designated a low in the Gulf of Mexico with the first moniker on the 2018 list - Alberto - Friday morning.

Locally heavy rainfall is forecast across western Cuba and over much of Florida and the northern Gulf Coast into early next week. 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.

Tropical depression formation expected Saturday

Alberto's winds remained at 40 miles per hour and the barometric pressure had not changed from 1005mb.

The center of Alberto may hit land somewhere between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle late Monday, but its bands of heavy rain will spread all across the Florida peninsula and into the Southeast. A gradual strengthening was expected through the weekend as it moves north. Rainfall accmumulations of 4 to 8 inches with maximum amounts of 12 inches are possible across the Florida Keys and southern and southwestern Florida. The storm surge watch was issued for a stretch from Horseshoe Beach, Florida, to the mouth of the Mississippi River. Rip currents will also be a concern at affected beaches over the busy holiday weekend, especially along the northern Gulf Coast. Forecast rain totals at this point are 3-7 inches for us with some neighborhoods getting a lot meaning there could be some localized flooding.

The storm is expected to become more organized as it moves north into the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday and Sunday.

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In fact, the NHC now warns there is a 70-percent chance of a tropical depression or tropical storm forming in the next two days, and an 90-percent chance it happens by Memorial Day.

"Instead of having warmer temperatures throughout its core, like a tropical storm, its upper levels are still quite cool, like what you'd typically see with winter and spring low pressure systems", said Will Ulrich, a meteorologist with the Weather Service in Melbourne.

The Weather Prediction Center has South Florida rain totals at above 6 inches over the next seven days.

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Weather models are pointing to Saturday evening through Monday as having the largest possibilities for tornadoes.

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