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26 May 2018, 10:21 | Justin Tyler
The Gulf Coast is bracing for Subtropical Storm Alberto this Memorial Day Weekend
It's now a 40-mph storm located about 60 miles south of Cozumel, Mexico, according to the hurricane center's 2 p.m. Fridayupdate. A hurricane hunter plane is scheduled to fly into the storm later today.
"Heavy rain will likely begin to affect the central Gulf Coast region and the southeastern Untied States later this weekend and continue into early next week", the NHC said in its 4 p.m. advisory. "Several inches of rain" are possible in coastal counties, and the National Weather Service is warning of potential flooding. Right now, heavy flooding rain, gusty winds, and isolated tornadoes are possible for South Florida, according to Bryan Norcross, a hurricane specialist at The Weather Channel.
There's also a strong threat of rip currents from Florida to Louisiana. The system is not expected to directly impact Virginia, until maybe the end of next week.
When the low moves to the northern Gulf, however, the environment will be more favorable, though still not ideal.
The South Florida Water Management District said they have prepared their massive flood control system to protect residents over the next five to seven days. The storm was moving north-northeast at 6 miles per hour.
Florida and Mississippi are under states of emergency ahead Subtropical Storm Alberto
Even if the storm does not develop, the circulation is going to pull moisture out of the Gulf of Mexico and toward the southeast.
"I take the intensity with a huge grain of salt at this point", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy.
Since then, Alberto still remains severely sheared (weak) and the next Hurricane Hunter will not be out into the storm until later this morning. Forecast models remain focused on a track towards MS or Alabama coastlines.
"A tropical storm is likely to form in the eastern Gulf this weekend and track generally northward". Often, these storms have a radius of maximum winds which is farther out than what is observed for purely "tropical" systems.
The NHC also released detailed graphics tracking the storm's path to the US mainland and its potential wind speeds.
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