Posted by Matt Lanza at 11:24 AM
Not long after our morning update on Friday, the National Hurricane went full steam ahead and declared the disturbance near the Yucatan Peninsula to be (Sub)tropical Storm Alberto (more on that in a moment). For us in Houston, this is of *no* concern. We remain with a hot and mostly dry forecast. But if you have friends and family east of here or know folks visiting there for the holiday weekend, we wanted to provide a quick update.
Alberto has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, making it a lower-end tropical storm. Looking at a satellite loop, you can see Alberto is far from the most aesthetically pleasing tropical system we’ve ever seen.
The center of Alberto is sort of broad in nature and located just off the western tip of Cuba. It may hopscotch its way along over the next 12-24 hours, reforming at times in different places in the southeast Gulf.
Forecast track & intensity
Over the next 24-36 hours, the environment over Alberto is expected to become more hospitable for a tropical storm. Thus, Alberto should strengthen a bit on its trek north. The current forecast from the National Hurricane Center takes Alberto north to between about Gulfport, MS and Panama City Beach, FL, with a possible landfall by Monday night or early Tuesday.
While the NHC track is fine, some forecast modeling shows Alberto taking a more erratic path as it approaches the eastern Gulf, possibly shifting a couple hundred miles east or west. Thus, tropical storm watches cover a pretty broad chunk of the coast, between far eastern Louisiana and the New Orleans area to just south of Tallahassee on the Florida Panhandle. The Tampa area is also under a watch. Tropical storm watches mean tropical storm conditions are possible within the next 48 hours.