.PRE-SEASON SUBTROPICAL STORM ALBERTO FORMS OVER THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA

HEAVY RAINFALL EXPECTED TO AFFECT THE YUCATAN PENINSULA…WESTERN CUBA…FLORIDA…AND THE NORTHEASTERN GULF COAST THROUGH THE WEEKEND

NHC has begun advisories on newly formed Subtropical Storm Alberto. It’s centered about 195 miles (315 km) southwest of the western tip of Cuba. The Government of Mexico has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula from Tulum to Cabo Catoche. The Government of Cuba has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the western Cuban province of Pinar del Rio.Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area through Saturday. Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is forecast for the next 72 hours.

On the forecast track, Alberto is expected to pass near the eastern coast of the Yucatan peninsula tonight, be near the western tip of Cuba Saturday morning, emerge over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by Saturday night, and approach the north-central Gulf Coast on Monday.

Alberto is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 15 inches with isolated totals of 25 inches across the northeastern portions of the Yucatan Peninsula and western Cuba. These rains could produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. Rainfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches with maximum amounts of 12 inches are possible across the Florida Keys and southern and southwestern Florida. Heavy rain will likely begin to affect the central Gulf Coast region and the southeastern Untied States later this weekend and continue into early next week. Flooding potential will increase across this region early next week as Alberto is forecast to slow down after it moves inland.

The next complete advisory will be issued by NHC at 5 p.m. EDT. –