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Alberto strengthens, moving faster towards Gulf Coast landfall; heavy rain to impact Tennessee next week

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Alberto strengthens, moving faster towards Gulf Coast landfall; heavy rain to impact Tennessee next week

With hurricane season due to start on June 1, the first sub- tropical storm of the season has already formed and is aimed at the gulf Coast. Sub-tropical storm Alberto is picking up speed and heading toward the Gulf Coast, bringing plenty of rain into the Southern States. The storm will affect Tennessee Tuesday into Wednesday and could bring 2-6 inches of rain and gusty winds at the center of what is left of Alberto crosses right through Tennessee on its northward trek.

The Hydrologic Outlook issued by the National Weather Service calls for periods of rainfall expected through next Saturday with soaking rainfall in Middle Tennessee into Tuesday night.

Subtropical storm Alberto is expected to approach Middle Tennessee from the south as a tropical depression on Tuesday and continue holding this strength as it moves across central Middle Tennessee on Tuesday night. It is expected to push north of the mid-state by Wednesday morning. On average an additional one quarter to around one half of an inch of rainfall is expected today through Monday night across the mid state.

Amounts are expected to significantly increase as Tuesday into Tuesday night progresses. Most of this rainfall associated with Alberto is expected to occur Tuesday afternoon and evening across Middle Tennessee. Heaviest amounts are currently expected to be around and west of the I-65 corridor with additional rainfall amounts Tuesday through Tuesday night in the three quarters of an inch range across the Cumberland Plateau Region to around two and one half inches across locations around and west of I-65 corridor and along and south of the I-40 corridor.

Alberto will continue to weaken and move northeastward on Wednesday before eventually dissipating. Middle Tennessee will then transition to a surface southerly flow pattern with several upper level disturbance passages expected through next Saturday. This will bring additional periods of rainfall to the mid state region. An additional one and one half inches to around two inches across the entire mid state is currently expected Wednesday through Saturday, as ground conditions will become increasingly even more saturated.

Total rainfall amounts expected from today through next Saturday will range from approaching three inches across the Cumberland Plateau Region to around four inches across southern portions of the Tennessee River Valley Region. Locally higher amounts approaching five inches may be possible for locations approaching the Tennessee/Alabama border. With this amount of rainfall expected, flooding of low lying flood prone areas and area creeks and streams will likely occur. There is also the potential of more widespread flooding occurring including river flooding. Additional flood watch and warning products may need to be issued as this potential flooding situation develops.

Please visit weather.gov/nashville, stay tuned to local media and NOAA Weather Radio, for the latest on this potential developing flooding situation across Middle Tennessee.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

  • A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for the Crystal River to the Mississippi/Alabama border. A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life- threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, in the indicated locations in this case during the next 36 hours. For a depiction of areas at risk, please see the National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at hurricanes.gov.
  • A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Dry Tortugas and Bonita Beach to the Mississippi/Alabama border. A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.
  • A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Mouth of the Pearl River. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible somewhere within the watch area.

For storm information specific to your area in the United States, including possible inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office. 

This morning the center of Subtropical Storm Alberto was located near latitude 26.3 North, longitude 84.4 West, and was moving toward the north near 15 mph (24 km/h). A turn toward the north-northwest at a slower forward speed is forecast tonight. A north-northwestward to northward motion is expected Tuesday through early Wednesday. On the forecast track, the center of Alberto will cross the eastern and northern Gulf of Mexico today and approach the northern Gulf Coast in the warning area tonight or Monday. Heavy rainfall and tropical storm conditions will likely reach the northern Gulf Coast well before the arrival of the center of Alberto. Alberto is expected to move northward into the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 45 mph (75 km/h) with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is forecast until the system reaches the northern Gulf Coast. Steady weakening is expected after Alberto makes landfall, and it is forecast to become a tropical depression by Monday night or Tuesday. Winds of 40 mph extend outward up to 150 miles (240 km) mainly to the east of the center.

The estimated minimum central pressure based on data from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft data is 997 mb (29.44 inches).

Alberto is a rainmaker, and is expected to produce the following rain accumulations through Tuesday:

  • Central Cuba…Additional 5 to 10 inches, isolated storm totals of 20 inches.
  • The Florida panhandle into eastern Alabama and western Georgia…4 to 8 inches, isolated 12 inches.
  • The Florida Keys and south Florida…Additional 3 to 6 inches, isolated storm totals of 10 inches. Rest of the Florida peninsula…1 to 4 inches.
  • Rest of the southeast U.S. from Tennessee to the Carolinas…2 to 6 inches.

RAIN: Rains in Cuba could produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. Flooding and flash flooding are possible in the southeast United States, including Florida.

Tropical storm conditions are occurring in the Dry Tortugas, and these conditions are expected to spread northward in the warning area along the west coast of Florida today. Tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area along the northern Gulf Coast by later today. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area along the northern Gulf Coast by Monday.

STORM SURGE: The combination of storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.  Storm surge  could raise water levels from the Crystal River to the  Mississippi/Alabama border by 2-4 feet if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide.

TORNADOES: A few tornadoes are possible across the Florida peninsula today.

SURF: Swells generated by Alberto will affect the eastern and northern Gulf Coast through Tuesday. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

For more information, consult products from your local weather office.

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