Subtropical Storm Alberto heads toward Gulf of Mexico

Tropical Storm

A dome of high pressure is expected to slow Alberto down as it approaches the northern Gulf Coast late Sunday and early Monday. Forecasters expected Alberto to intensify to a tropical storm Saturday morning, but do not anticipate it to become a hurricane.

We have a tropical storm watch and a storm surge watch in effect along the northern Gulf coast.

Alberto was still struggling on Saturday, according to the hurricane center. It then is anticipated to turn to the northwest on Sunday.

Harvey battered the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Central America.

Forecasters stressed not to focus exclusively on the exact point of landfall - which could be in Alabama - because numerous storm's affects will be felt far away from that point.

A tropical storm watch means sustained tropical storm force winds in excess of 39 mph are possible in the watch area within 48 hours. Gerry Bell, the lead hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, said in an interview.

This is the 7-day rainfall forecast from the Weather Prediction Center. The last time a tropical cyclone was named Alberto was in 2012; it also formed before the season began, on May 19.

The Government of Mexico has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula from Tulum to Cabo Catoche.

Conditions will become more favorable for the storm to intensify when it reaches the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico.

With the extra rainfall forecast, flooding remains a concern beginning late in the weekend and into the middle of next week.

Alberto is expected to produce up to 15 inches of rain, with isolated totals of 25 inches, across the northeastern portions of the Yucatan Peninsula and western Cuba. Whether or not the system gets named, heavy rain and flooding will be the main threat.

The National Weather Service says the Sarasota-Manatee area will continue to have afternoon and evening thunderstorms Thursday, with scattered to numerous daily showers and thunderstorms through the holiday weekend.

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