National Hurricane Center: Subtropical Storm Alberto forms in western Caribbean

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The storm is moving toward the north-northeast near 7 miles per hour and is expected to pick up speed and move more north-northeastward later today and make a turn to the northwest on Sunday. It boils down to technical characteristics of the storm and how it gets its energy. "This system could also bring tropical-storm-force winds and storm surge to portions of the northern Gulf Coast by late this weekend or early next week".

For the 4th year in a row, a storm has been named ahead of the official start to "hurricane season".

It's now a 40-mph storm located about 60 miles south of Cozumel, Mexico, according to the hurricane center's 2 p.m. Friday update. By Saturday morning, it's expected to reach Cuba's western side, before it hits the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Saturday night.

Several inches of rain will be possible across Central Georgia Sunday into Monday as outer rain bands move into the area.

On Thursday morning, the National Hurricane Center gave the seemingly-disorganized cluster of thunderstorms a 40 percent chance of developing in the next 48 hours and an 80 percent chance in the next five days.

"Locally heavy rainfall is forecast across western Cuba and over much of Florida and the northern Gulf coast into early next week", senior hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart said in Friday's tropical weather outlook.

The subtropical or tropical name is given to a storm with winds in excess of 39 miles per hour.

Subtropical Storm Alberto is now around 85 miles south/southeast of Cozumel, Mexico. Alberto is expected to make landfall as a strong tropical or subtropical storm anywhere from the Florida Panhandle to the Louisiana Gulf Coast. Alberto is expected to transition from a subtropical cyclone to a tropical cyclone over the weekend as environmental conditions become more favorable. Note the heavy rain that will fall along and to the east of the tropical storm. "There could be some possible high surf with hazardous high risk of rip currents along the beaches".