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Soggy Weekend Ahead Thanks To Subtropical Storm Alberto

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Path of Subtropical Storm Alberto as of Saturday

The system is not expected to directly impact Virginia, until maybe the end of next week. There also was a storm surge watch from Horseshoe Beach, Fla., west to the mouth of the Mississippi River.

The immediate Tampa Bay area could experience tropical storm-force winds by Saturday morning, forecasters said, and conditions along the coast could become risky with high winds and rip currents. The hurricane season officially runs from June 1 to November 30. There's a good bet that this develops into a weak tropical storm or tropical depression over the next 48 hours. Forecasters say if the system makes landfall on the Gulf Coast, it will likely be on Sunday or Monday.

Subtropical storm Alberto is the first tropical weather system of the 2018 hurricane season and could bring heavy rain to Florida and the Gulf Coast; chief meteorologist Rick Reichmuth reports from the Fox Extreme Weather Center.

Atlantic tropical storms have formed in May several times in the past decade: Arthur in 2008, Alberto and Beryl in 2012, Ana in 2015 and Bonnie in 2016.

A named tropical storm in May would be a rare, but not unprecedented, occurrence given the hurricane season does not officially start until June 1. An Air Force Hurricane Hunter plane is scheduled to investigate the system Friday afternoon. Gradual strengthening is forecast for the next 72 hours. The government of Cuba has issued a tropical storm watch for the western Cuban province of Pinar del Rio.

Earliest reasonable arrival time of tropical storm
Earliest reasonable arrival time of tropical storm

The National Weather Service in Mobile continued to keep a close eye on the storm on Friday.

"Right now, we've been pumping 24/7 since last Sunday", said South Florida Water Management District employee Carl Olsen. Measuring strong, dry and cool mid-level winds near the center of circulation, Alberto was clearly a subtropical storm.

Alberto will begin to bring us rain on Sunday night, but the rain chance looks to tick up more so beginning on Memorial Day and lasting through at least Wednesday.

The rest of the state can also expect rain, though in the range of 2 to 4 inches.

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