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Tropical depression formation expected Saturday

26 May 2018

Subtropical Storm Alberto - the first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season - was roiling parts of coastal Mexico and Cuba with rip currents and risky surf on Friday.

It's now a 40-mph storm located about 60 miles south of Cozumel, Mexico, according to the hurricane center's 2 p.m. Friday update.

Heavy rains from the Gulf of Mexico spawned flooding in the Southeastern states ahead of what forecasters said Wednesday could become the year's first tropical storm just as tourist season begins.

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Original story: According to the National Hurricane Center, a low pressure system known as "Invest 90L" is headed for the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to form into a tropical depression or tropical storm sometime within the next two days. It's expected to stay at "tropical storm" status through the duration of its life, not strengthening into a hurricane.

It's not even hurricane season yet, but we're already tracking some tropical trouble in the Gulf.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, but like this system, some develop outside of that period. Jordan Sawmiller of OH tells WALA-TV that he was approaching the water with caution in Gulf Shores, Alabama. The Florida Keys and southern areas of Florida could expect rainfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches, possibly as much as 12 inches.

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Because of its slow movement, there will be a continuous flow of moisture into the region.

The Mexican government has issued a tropical storm watch for the Yucatan Peninsula's east coast, and the Cuban government has issued a tropical storm watch for Pinar del Rio. "A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible in the United States portion of that watch area within 48 hours". Alberto is forecast to approach the north-central Gulf Coast on Monday.

Gov. Rick Scott's office put out a warning Thursday, noting that "this storm is expected to bring torrential rain and significant flooding in communities across Florida", with the worst weather likeliest over the Gulf Coast and Panhandle.

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Heavy rain is expected to gradually taper down mid to late next week. For more information on the heavy rain threat, please see products issued by your local weather office.

Tropical depression formation expected Saturday