New Orleans under tropical storm watch; see Subtropical Storm Alberto's latest track

New Orleans under tropical storm watch; see Subtropical Storm Alberto's latest track

The subtropical storm, located off the coast of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, formed Friday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center.

While some models project Alberto's strongest sustained winds will reach 65 miles per hour, the biggest threat for many in the northern Gulf states - including the Wiregrass area - is heavy rainfall.

- Forecasters have issued tropical storm and storm surge watches for parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast as Subtropical Storm Alberto approaches.

It is expected to strengthen over the weekend in the Gulf of Mexico as a tropical storm, and make landfall somewhere east of New Orleans on Memorial Day, possibly near Biloxi, Mississippi. Just because the named cyclone is a "subtropical" entity at this time, it needs to be taken extremely seriously because the same impacts as a tropical storm or low-end hurricane can be felt and are expected across parts of the Southeast. A ridge of high pressure will build in from the southwest, producing the hottest weather of the year so far.

Forecasters from AccuWeather believe the depression could make landfall in the USA by Memorial Day, potentially ruining the holiday weekend for millions of Americans.

Hurricane season officially starts on June 1.

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Even though South Florida is not in the projected path of Alberto, the region is on the east side - the wettest side - of the storm.

A tropical storm watch means sustained tropical storm force winds in excess of 39 mph are possible in the watch area within 48 hours.

A flash flood watch unrelated to Alberto has been issued for most of south Louisiana until Saturday night. The tropical storm may bring some rain to our area, but very minimal. We could see minor coastal flooding and we certainly will see a high risk of rip currents.

Last hurricane season - which produced the immensely destructive hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria - was exceptionally active, said Bell, who doesn't now expect this season to produce such intense activity.

Thursday's tropical weather outlook shows an area of interest over the Yucatán Peninsula.

Tropical Storm Bonnie followed in late May.

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