Subtropical Storm Alberto Forms, Will Bring Heavy Rain to U.S.

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The center of the storm was located about 110 miles southeast of Cozumel, Mexico, and 180 miles south-southwest of the western tip of Cuba as of the National Hurricane Center's 11 p.m. EDT update. Winds on Saturday night and Sunday will be in the 20 to 25 miles per hour range as Alberto gains strength in the northern Gulf.

Forecasters from the US-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) have said there is a 90% chance tropical storm Alberto will develop the within the next five days. Rip currents are also expected on both coasts, the Miami weather office said. However, experts say those storms usually form in the Atlantic Ocean; a pre-season storm in the Gulf of Mexico is rarer. The timing and amounts are still very speculative.

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.

The Gulf is particularly warm right now, so there's a slight chance Alberto could intensify to hurricane strength if it spends enough time over warm water, according to Norcross.

Subtropical Storm Alberto formed Friday on the edge of the Yucatan Peninsula, on the western end of the Caribbean.

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Generally wet and unsettled pattern continues through Thursday with southerly flow becoming more southwesterly and allowing the Gulf coast sea breeze to dominate.

The projected paths of this system range from Louisiana to the west coast of Florida.

If you're traveling for the holiday, the worst weather will be in South Florida-where they will deal with even more rain-and the Florida Panhandle-where winds and storm surge will be a concern.

Hurricane season officially starts on June 1. Much of the N.C. mountains can expect 4 to 6 inches of rain, NOAA predicts.

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