Alberto, first Atlantic storm of 2018, will head for the U.S

Alberto, first Atlantic storm of 2018, will head for the U.S

Alberto, first Atlantic storm of 2018, will head for the U.S

Alberto comes ahead of schedule: the six-month hurricane season doesnt begin until June 1.

Forecasters from AccuWeather believe the depression could make landfall in the United States by Memorial Day, potentially ruining the holiday weekend for millions of Americans. 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.

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.

Update 11 a.m.: The first forecast models are in from the NHC, and they show Alberto avoiding South Florida. Both countries issued tropical storm watches for portions of their coastlines, with rain totals in some isolated areas of up to 25 inches.

Since 1995, the Atlantic and Caribbean have seen "very active" seasons, said Bell, as a decades-long climate trend in the Atlantic Ocean has kept water temperatures warmer, contributing to a higher number of storms. Ultimately, this will mean that Sunday and Monday are probably our wettest days with the highest rainfall totals and with fewer dry hours in the day than we've seen recently.

Tropical depression formation expected Saturday
Watching the Tropics this Memorial Day Weekend

A storm surge watch is also in effect at the mouth of the Mississippi River and east to Horeshoe Beach, Florida, meaning there's a possibility of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the coastline in the indicated locations during the next 48 hours. It's expected to stay at "tropical storm" status through the duration of its life, not strengthening into a hurricane.

At this point, the Charlotte area could get two to four inches of rain, with some locations getting as much as five inches.

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

The weather service said on Friday morning that confidence continued to increase that a "significant" rain event will affect the northern Gulf Coast this weekend. "There could be some possible high surf with hazardous high risk of rip currents along the beaches".

Volusia County joined the entire southern half of Florida in a flood watch issued by the National Weather Service on Friday afternoon and additional flood watches are possible as Alberto moves northward.

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