1st named storm of 2018 Atlantic hurricane season expected to impact Carolinas

Tropical depression formation expected Saturday

A tropical storm watch has been issued for metro New Orleans, the National Weather Service announced Friday afternoon, as Subtropical Storm Alberto churns in the Caribbean Sea.

"Locally heavy rainfall is forecast across western Cuba and over much of Florida and the northern Gulf Coast into early next week", the National Hurricane Center said.

Peter Wolf, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Jacksonville, said if the storm takes the more westerly track, then the rainfall totals will increase. This would make Alberto a strong subtropical storm, although well short of the 74 miles per hour threshold for hurricane strength. For many parts of the region it's already the second wettest month of May on record.

Each list has 21 names, leaving out Q, U, X, Y and Z. If there are more than 21 named storms, the rest will be indicated by Greek letters. On Saturday and Sunday, those downpours become even more widespread and some could produce a lot of heavy rain in a short time!

You can thank subtropical storm Alberto for the soggy three-day weekend. We'll be watching very closely.

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The NHC expects the storm to make landfall late Monday or early Tuesday around the MS or Alabama coast, at which point its strength should decrease and it will become a tropical depression.

Heavy rains from the Gulf of Mexico spawned flooding in the Southeastern states ahead of what forecasters said Wednesday could become the year's first tropical storm just as tourist season begins.

Portions of the northern Gulf Coast are likely to experience tropical storm force winds and storm surge.

Memorial Day is the traditional beginning of beach season, but the weather service issued warnings about unsafe currents along the Gulf Coast during the holiday period. 1-2 total inches of rain are possible through these days, which can add to the high totals we've seen over the last week and a half.

Forecasters will also be on the lookout for severe storms, which could be possible depending on the track and intensity of Alberto.

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