High chance for a tropical system to form in the Gulf

Jo Lloyd
May 26, 2018

Hurricane season doesn't begin until June 1, but that doesn't mean we won't see some action Saturday or Sunday.

The forecast for Memorial Day weekend could be summed up in two words: hot and dry.

The National Hurricane Center announced Friday morning that Subtropical Storm Alberto has formed over the northwestern Caribbean Sea and is moving toward the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Hurricane Center is monitoring a new tropical system that will bring heavy rain to Florida and the Gulf Coast states by Memorial Day.

As people gear up for a long holiday weekend, officials are warning that the first subtropical storm of the 2018 hurricane season is expected to bring "tropical storm-force winds" and "storm surges" across the central and eastern Gulf Coast on Sunday. 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.

An event in South Florida was canceled as a result of the expected rain, as well.

Update 11 a.m.: The first forecast models are in from the NHC, and they show Alberto avoiding South Florida.

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

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.

As of right now, the storm is expected to stay below hurricane strength. It does look like conditions will be favorable for some development as it moves into the Gulf Of Mexico.

The differences between a subtropical storm and tropical storm are technical, said Fox 35 meteorologist Jayme King.

Although the east side of the storm isn't expected to reach Broward, Miami-Dade or Palm Beach counties, the storm's outer bands are expected to bring the area heavy rain, gusts of up to 35 miles per hour, strong rip currents and the possibility of tornadoes, according to a 3 p.m. briefing by the National Weather Service in Miami.

These rains could produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. The coastal Carolinas and southern Florida are expected to have more rain.

Heavy rain and rip currents are the main threats for now. For many parts of the region it's already the second wettest month of May on record.

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