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The first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season made its debut before the season officially began.

Alberto, with maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour, is moving east at 2 miles per hour near the Yucatan Peninsula and is forecast to begin moving north Friday night.

Subtropical Storm Alberto was "meandering over the northwestern Caribbean Sea" Friday afternoon, causing risky surf and rip current conditions on the Yucatan and the west coast of Cuba, according to the the center's website.

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.

- Forecasters have issued tropical storm and storm surge watches for parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast as Subtropical Storm Alberto approaches. It's expected to stay at "tropical storm" status through the duration of its life, not strengthening into a hurricane.

The "subtropical" designation is a nuance in the world of weather science.

Tropical depression formation expected Saturday

Subtropical Storm Alberto has formed over the northwestern Caribbean Sea.

At the meeting, Gov. Scott urged Floridians to watch the weather closely and make a plan.

South Florida and the Florida peninsula can expect periods of heavy rain and gusty winds, including isolated tornadoes and 3 inches to 7 inches of rain from Friday through Wednesday. Note the heavy rain that will fall along and to the east of the tropical storm.

Rain chances are at 70 percent to 80 percent for portions of Florida throughout the Memorial Day weekend.

The tropical threat comes earlier than usual. For Alberto to be considered a "tropical" storm, relatively warm air must be contained within its center. The tropical storm may bring some rain to our area, but very minimal.

The large band of low pressure lurking over the Yucatan Peninsula, off the coast of eastern Mexico, is threatening Florida and other southeastern states with heavy rain and flash flooding.



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