Alberto Nearing Hurricane Strength
Subtropical Storm Alberto is getting stronger as it nears land. At this hour, Alberto has strengthened and now has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and pressure is down to 991 mb. Rain bands are rotating into South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida this afternoon with tropical storm force wind gusts being experienced across parts of Florida as Alberto moves to the northwest at 10 mph. Tropical storm force winds can be expected across southern and western parts of Georgia, Alabama, and southern and western Mississippi throughout the day on Monday (see Fig. 1).
Fig. 1: Tropical Storm Force Winds Forecast
As Alberto continues its north-northwest movement throughout the overnight hours, a transition to a tropical (warm core) entity is possible. This is evident on the latest satellite imagery, which shows Alberto becoming more symmetric with thunderstorms around the center of circulation (see Fig. 2). This should allow for the possibility of continued slight strengthening over the next 12 hours.
Fig. 2: Satellite Imagery
Regardless of intensity, Alberto will bring an enhanced flash flood threat to the Southeast, gusty winds, storm surge and rip currents, and isolated tornadoes to the region. This greatest threat with Alberto is the rainfall. As Alberto moves inland Monday afternoon (around 1:00PM), likely between Pensacola, FL and Panama City, FL (see Fig. 3) as at least a 65 mph tropical storm, Alberto will begin to slow in forward speed. This will create a widespread area of 2-6″ of rainfall across much of the Southeast and southern parts of the Ohio Valley through mid-week. A few areas will see rainfall amounts between 6 to 12 inches (see Fig. 4).
Fig. 3: NHC Track Forecast
Fig. 4: WPC Precipitation Forecast Through 7 Days
Please remain alert as Alberto approaches the Gulf Coast. Updates will be provided as needed.