Alberto becomes first named storm of 2018 season

Alberto becomes first named storm of 2018 season

The National Hurricane Center's latest data indicates a low-pressure system now over the northwestern Caribbean Sea has become "better defined" overnight, and could bring tropical-storm-force winds and storm surge to the northern Gulf Coast late this weekend or early next week.

Southerly winds continue to bring gulf moisture to the Commonwealth increasing humidity and storm threats. Subtropical Storm Alberto, our first of the year, is making it's way into the Gulf of Mexico right now.

On Friday, Alberto met the minimum requirements for earning a name, having reached sustained winds of 40 miles per hour.

The flood watch runs from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 p.m. Sunday, the period when Alberto is expected to pass closest to the region on its course toward the northern Gulf coast.

The official start of the Atlantic hurricane season is a week away but a disturbance in the northwest Caribbean just couldn't wait. The conditions are expected to spread to the eastern and central Gulf Coast later this weekend.

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This could also bring tropical-storm-force winds and storm surge to portions of the northern Gulf Coast by late this weekend or early next week. The latest rainfall predictions from the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center call for 1-3 inches of rain through next week in south Louisiana.

Even if the center tracks to our west, we will be on the east side, or the dirty side, of the system and heavy downpours and flooding will be possible.

Because of this, the South Shore, Coastal Mississippi, St. Tammany Parish and Southern Tangipahoa Parish are under a flash flood watch.

Almost all the damage came from three major hurricanes - Harvey, Irma and Maria. It dumped catastrophic rainfall on the Houston area, causing $125 billion in damage. It's considered among the worst natural disasters to hit the islands.

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