Tropical storm watch issued for part of Tampa Bay area

27 May, 2018, 00:18 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Tropical Storm

The storm on Saturday afternoon was last located about 105 km north-northwest of the western tip of Cuba and 315 km southwest of the Dry Tortugas, which is nearly 113 km west of Key West, Florida, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC).

At this hour, Subtropical Storm Alberto has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and moving to the E at 2 mph. Regardless of whether Alberto becomes a true tropical storm by definition, very heavy rain and flooding are likely from Florida to Louisiana over the next several days.

Tropical storm watches are also in effect for parts of Mexico and Cuba.

The storm's exact path remains uncertain, and it's not expected to bring the kinds of devastating winds or storm surge that are usually the most significant concerns with tropical storms.

The next advisory will be released at 4 p.m. today.

Rick Scott issued the declaration for all 67 counties in his state. On Friday, county commissioners declared a similar emergency in Manatee County.

Expected storm surges along the Florida to Louisiana coast could swell two to four feet, with some areas getting as low as a foot but some topping three feet. Isolated tornadoes could erupt over the Florida Keys or southwestern Florida late Saturday. This high may act to "trap" Alberto across the Gulf States early next week. These factors could lead to flooding.

Ike Williams, who owns a company that rents beach chairs, umbrellas and other gear in Gulf Shores, Alabama, said workers were stowing away some items because of forecast.

Tropical Storm
Subtropical Storm Alberto, first storm of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season, forms over Caribbean

"Don't focus on the track so much off the center", Graham stressed. Some beachfront and riverfront communities are already handing out sandbags. "So we are getting some cases of yellow peanuts just not growing".

Gov. Scott said it is important for all residents to keep safe and prepare for rain and flooding.

He said it was not unusual for tropical systems to form outside of the official Atlantic Hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30 annually.

Despite the forces involved in slowing strengthening processes, Alberto is expected to help produce waves of heavy rain which will likely lash out at the western Florida peninsula, some parts of the Big Bend region, and the Panhandle through Monday evening.

The storm is expected to move North slowly from its location near Cuba Saturday into the Gulf of Mexico. The satellite shows that Alberto is somewhat disorganized, with all of the thunderstorm activity east of the center of circulation.

As of Friday evening, the National Weather Service office in Slidell predicted New Orleans and surrounding parishes could see between 3 inches and 5 inches of rain by Wednesday, with double those amounts possible in some areas.

The forecast is similar on Memorial Day, according to the NWS.

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