Science

New Orleans under a Tropical Storm Watch ahead of Alberto

New Orleans under a Tropical Storm Watch ahead of Alberto

It might start as a subtropical depression - the atmosphere is not in a wholly tropical state over the Gulf - but if it sits over the warm Gulf waters long enough, it could well become Tropical Storm Alberto.

This Memorial Day weekend, anyone seeking nice weather should avoid South Florida and the Gulf Coast.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) announced Friday morning that Alberto, the first named storm of the year, formed as a subtropical storm over the northwest Caribbean Sea.

The Weather Prediction Center is forecasting a swath of heavy rain for a good bit of the Southeast over the next seven days. An average hurricane season -- June 1 to November 30 -- produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. It's expected to stay at "tropical storm" status through the duration of its life, not strengthening into a hurricane.

An area of low pressure near Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula could morph into a tropical storm in the coming days.

STORM SURGE: The combination of storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.

FTSE scales fresh high but M&S falls on store closures
Neil Stock, Tendring District Council Leader, said he was saddened to hear of M&S plans to close its Clacton store in early 2019. He said that where stores have already closed, "encouraging" numbers of consumers were now shopping at nearby stores.

It's now a 40-mph storm located about 60 miles south of Cozumel, Mexico, according to the hurricane center's 2 p.m. Friday update.

Areas along the coast can expect 3-6 inches of rain, with even more expected in the coastal Carolinas and southern Florida.

The storm's sustained winds are expected to intensify to 65 miles per hour over the next three days, as it approaches the northern Gulf coast.

An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft will take a closer look at Alberto this afternoon and provide more detail on its structure and intensity. Essentially, the characteristics of a subtropical system mean it lacks the punch to quickly increase in strength and become a hurricane. Rainfall rates in downpours like these can give you more than one inch of rain in 30 minutes or less.

Forecasters have noted that the flash flood watch may need to be expanded northward later.

"Its mostly looking like a heavy rain event", National Weather Service meteorologist John McMichael said. Whether or not the system gets named, heavy rain and flooding will be the main threat.


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