Subtropical Storm Alberto forms off coast of Mexico, forecasters say

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This is the fourth consecutive year in which at least one storm has formed before the start of hurricane season on June 1.

Even though South Florida is not in the projected path of Alberto, the region is on the east side - the wettest side - of the storm.

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.

The rain won't fall uniformly across the area, however.

Central Florida continues to have a high chance of rain going into next week.

Friday, Governor Rick Scott met with Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford and Panama City Beach Mayor Mike Thomas to prepare for upcoming impacts from Subtropical Storm Alberto. Put simply, Alberto's strongest winds and storms are well to the east of its circulation for right now, but it will likely begin to wrap up and become more centralized as it moves into the Gulf this weekend.

While some models project Alberto's strongest sustained winds will reach 65 miles per hour, the biggest threat for many in the northern Gulf states - including the Wiregrass area - is heavy rainfall.

Subtropical Storm Alberto forms off coast of Mexico, forecasters say
Subtropical Storm Alberto forms off coast of Mexico, forecasters say

Original story: The National Hurricane Center has increased the chances that a tropical system will develop in the Gulf of Mexico to 90 percent over five days as an area of storminess southeast of the Yucatan Peninsula becomes better organized.

A subtropical storm has characteristics of both a tropical and non-tropical storm.

Forecasters expect a subtropical or tropical depression to form by late Saturday over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.

Those winds will also kick up surf that could cause rip currents along the entire Gulf of Mexico shoreline over the holiday weekend.

A hurricane center map shows Alberto approaching the Gulf Coast on Monday, somewhere between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle.

Heavy rain will likely begin to affect the central Gulf Coast region and the southeastern USA later this weekend and continue into early next week. A storm surge watch was issued for the coast from from Horseshoe Beach in Florida's Big Bend west to the mouth of the Mississippi River.

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