Unfortunately the 2018-2019 hurricane season begins a week early with the formation of Subtropical Storm Alberto. Now a subtropical storm is a little different than what we commonly know as a tropical storm. The storm is not a pure tropical system and often has an unorganized structure compared to an ordinary tropical system which is circular in nature and has a well defined center.
Currently Alberto is off the coast of Yucatan Peninsula about 65 miles north northwest of the western tip of Cuba and moving north at 15 mph. The storm is expected to drift north from the coast of Cuba and eventually into the northern Gulf of Mexico by early Sunday morning. Winds will be increasing at this point as the system gets into a more favorable environment. Water temperatures in the central Gulf are right around 80 degrees which is storm fuel for any tropical system as we start to get into the swing of the season.
Models right now bring Alberto into the coast between New Orleans, LA and Tallahassee, FL sometime Monday morning into Monday afternoon. At this time the storm could be a tropical storm or a high grade tropical depression. With that said tropical storm watches have been issued and extended inland out ahead of the storm. Impacts will be storm surge at the coast along with high waves and rip currents. Winds should not be too much of a problem compared to the vast amounts of rain expected.
Speaking of rain many locations in and along the Gulf Coast could see upwards of 6"+ of rainfall leading to big time flooding concerns. Elsewhere throughout the Deep South 2-4" of rain is expected with continued concerns for flooding due to saturated ground below. Severe weather will be another issue with a the possibility of tornadoes on the eastern side of the storm as it comes onshore late Monday afternoon.