ibusinesslines.com August 18, 2018

Tropical Downpours for Memorial Day weekend

26 May 2018, 03:02 | Justin Tyler

Hurricane center increases chances of tropical development to 90 percent

Tropical depression formation expected Saturday

The National Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm watch for the north-central Gulf Coast Friday afternoon (May 25) as Subtropical Storm Alberto was expected to strengthen over the weekend.

The latest update from the National Hurricane Center shows a 90 percent chance that a low-pressure system now drifting slowly over the eastern Yucatan Peninsula will develop into a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico during the next five days. The last time a tropical cyclone was named Alberto was in 2012; it also formed before the season began, on May 19. Their effects are exactly the same, and the move in the same pattern. The National Hurricane Center says a disturbance moving toward the Gulf of Mexico is now Subtropical Storm Alberto.

Gov. Rick Scott's office put out a warning Thursday, noting that "this storm is expected to bring torrential rain and significant flooding in communities across Florida", with the worst weather likeliest over the Gulf Coast and Panhandle.

The forecast for Memorial Day weekend could be summed up in two words: hot and dry. The hurricane center said up to 12 inches of rain was possible across the Florida Keys and southern and southwestern Florida.

The heavy rainfall will have the potential to cause flooding of low-lying and poor drainage areas.

Baron's Hurricane Index shows areas of favorable and unfavorable conditions for development.

Late in the forecast, Alberto is expected to significantly slow down as it approaches the coast.

The National Hurricane Center is giving this region an 80 percent chance of developing into a tropical depression or storm in the next five days.

Parts of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana have already seen heavy rain this week, and further deluges could leave those areas vulnerable to flash flooding and river flooding.

"Alberto is now struggling to survive strong wind shear and very dry air in the mid and upper levels now disrupting the developing convection", he explained.

Torrential rain, flooding and thunderstorms are likely across the Caribbean, the Gulf states and southern USA states even if a tropical storm does not materialise. The busy 2017 season saw 17 named storms, of which 10 became hurricanes, with six reaching the major storm status.

People planning to check out waves should be wary of rip currents and high surf at the beach, forecasters warned.

A tropical low is coming our way for the Memorial Day weekend.

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