With less than a week before the official start of hurricane season, Sub-Tropical Storm Alberto is starting to pick up speed and strength.
As of early Saturday afternoon, the storm was slowly moving north at about 10 mph. Right now, it is located about 20 miles west of Cuba and has max sustained winds of 40 mph.
Already, there is a Tropical Storm Warning for portions of Cuba. There are Tropical Storm Watches for portions of the Gulf Coast including Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
Within the last 12 hours, forecasters have concluded Alberto will take a slightly more northeastern track, which is good news for New Orleans however bad news for places like Biloxi.
It is still unclear exactly where Alberto’s eye will hit. However, we are becoming more confident that it will hit the Gulf Coast, largely Alabama, sometime on Monday late afternoon or evening.
From there, I expect that Alberto will continue northward before making a right turn over Tennessee and Kentucky sometime between Wednesday and Thursday. Even though the eye may hit one place, you can still expect the strong winds and heavy rain several hundred miles away so don’t be too concern about where the eye of the storm is.
As of right now, Georgia and South Carolina don’t have any watches or warnings associated with Alberto. I don’t anticipate any severe weather with this storm. However, we will see some pretty heavy showers likely late Sunday afternoon into Monday afternoon. I remain concerned about this since this will be when many people are trying to get home after the holiday weekend. You can expect plenty of traffic, airline delays and cancellations on Monday.
I also expect us to see an uptick in wind speed. However, I’m not anticipating it to be strong enough to knock out power. I am expecting some spots to flood as we could see several inches of rain in a short period of time. If you’re heading out to the beach today or tomorrow, be careful of the rip currents and increases in wave heights. Storms can still impact coastlines up to 1,000 miles away.
Some good news – because of Alberto, we could see our first full day of sunshine the week of June 5th. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
In case you are wondering, a storm forming before the official start of the hurricane season is NOT an indicator that we will have a busy hurricane season. On average, we see about six to eight hurricanes a year.
On Thursday, NOAA released its forecast for the Hurricane Season. Forecasters expect there to be 10-16 named storms. Half of those are expected to strengthen into hurricanes. One to four of those are expected to become major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher.)