David: Tropical storm watch issued for New Orleans, other watches issued

Tropical depression formation expected Saturday

Now spinning off of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, forecasters named the subtropical storm "Alberto," which is the first of 21 names the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has on its list of possible storm names for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

Tropical storm watches were issued for eastern Yucatan Peninsula and the western tip of Cuba.

As we have seen in years past, environmental conditions sometimes allow for development before the hurricane season begins. The storm was moving toward the Gulf of Mexico at 6 miles per hour late Friday morning. Rip current threats will also increase along the Gulf coast.

Models are showing the system making landfall Sunday night into Monday morning along the Central Gulf Coast.

Subtropical storms, like Alberto, can develop into tropical storms, which can ultimately strengthen into hurricanes. It is expected to move north into the Gulf of Mexico later today or tomorrow and gradually transition into a tropical storm.

Florida's governor has directed state authorities to prepare flood response resources to help residents in the event of torrential rains.

David: Tropical storm watch issued for New Orleans, other watches issued

Due to wind shear and marginal water temperatures, only gradual intensification is expected.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the system, now centered over the southeastern Yucatan Peninsula, is becoming better defined.

Heavy rainfall is the forecast to move over "much of Florida".

The storm was officially announced a day after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 2018 hurricane season forecast release.

A "subtropical" designation means it has characteristics of tropical storm but now lacks the potential of becoming a hurricane. Jordan Sawmiller of OH tells WALA-TV that he was approaching the water with caution in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Rainfall accmumulations of 4 to 8 inches with maximum amounts of 12 inches are possible across the Florida Keys andsouthern and southwestern Florida. "It's unlikely that a system this early, and with the conditions that it's going to be encountering, will become very strong", Wool said. It still remains an unorganized mess as it meanders off Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula but is expected to churn northward into the Gulf of Mexico and approach Florida this weekend.

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