As Alberto Churns in the Gulf, Hurricane Season Looms

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The storm season has begun. The National Weather Service reports that activity may be higher than normal. The first storm out of the gate is Alberto, churning in the southern part of the Gulf of Mexico. Florida and the southeastern United States are at risk, at least of torrential rain. Alberto also begins the season of risk to both property and people.

The Weather Service posted, regarding the entire season:

Forecasters predict a 35 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 25 percent chance of a below-normal season for the upcoming hurricane season, which extends from June 1 to November 30.

“With the advances made in hardware and computing over the course of the last year, the ability of NOAA scientists to both predict the path of storms and warn Americans who may find themselves in harm’s way is unprecedented,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The devastating hurricane season of 2017 demonstrated the necessity for prompt and accurate hurricane forecasts.”

NOAA’s forecasters predict a 70-percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 1 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which 6 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.

Alberto is a subtropical storm. While it is expected to move north toward the United States, parts of the Mexican coast in the Gulf are also at risk. The “watches” and “warnings” regarding the storm:

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.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* Tulum to Cabo Catoche Mexico
* Cuban province of Pinar del Rio

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are
possible within the watch area, in this case within the next 24
hours.

Interests along the central and eastern U.S. Gulf Coast should
monitor the progress of Alberto. Tropical storm and storm surge
watches could be required for portions of this area later today or
tonight.