Meet Alberto: The first named storm of 2018

Expect 3-5 inches of rain this weekend

Lee Herald Favicon 16The first named storm of the year has arrived and arrived ahead of schedule.

A wave that the National Hurricane Center has been watching all week has organized itself into a subtropical storm.

As of 2 p.m. Friday, the first official advisory of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season — which technically doesn’t officially begin until next Friday — Alberto had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and sits nearly stationary off of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

Alberto is a subtropical, rather than a tropical storm, because of its interaction with another low-pressure system. Once it breaks away from that — likely over the weekend, Alberto will be classified as a tropical storm.

Models have Alberto strengthening in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend, but not quite reaching hurricane strength.

Though it may not be a hurricane, and though the center will stay offshore, the heaviest of the rainfall is on the eastern side of the system, and thus will make for a very soggy Memorial Day weekend for Southwest Florida.

Rainfall estimates from the National Weather Service call for 3 to 5 more inches of rain through Memorial Day, this in addition to everything that’s already fallen this week, with the potential for up to 7 inches of rain in some areas.

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