Tropical depression development now expected with low heading toward Gulf of Mexico

Alberto is likely to make landfall Monday between New Orleans and Destin Florida before moving into Mississippi and Alabama by Tuesday

Subtropical Storm Alberto developed Friday morning and is located about 60 miles south of Cozumel, Mexico.

"The latest. Thursday runs of our top intensity models. predicted [the storm] could get considerably stronger than previously thought, with peak winds ranging from 40 mph.to 80 mph", writes Jeff Masters of the Weather Underground.

Subtropical Storm Alberto formed in the western Caribbean this morning.

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Alberto is forecast to make landfall somewhere along the north central Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle threatening very heavy to extreme rainfall.

That system on Sunday and Monday likely will continue moving north and dumping heavy rains along the Gulf Coast. This broad surface low-pressure system is battling some high wind shear and interacting with land, most of the convection associated with this system is to the east of the center. That would certainly mean a wet Memorial Day weekend in the New Orleans area and at Gulf Coast beaches in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Hurricane season officially begins June 1, but a tropical storm does occasionally form before then, including the past three hurricane seasons. "The main impact will be heavy rains that could exacerbate rivers and areas prone to flooding".

A flash flood watch unrelated to Alberto has been issued for most of south Louisiana until Saturday night. The weather service is warning beachgoers at the Jersey shore of the risk of rip currents associated with the current forecast.

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A subtropical storm is not a 100 percent tropical storm but it is starting to take on those characteristics. Rainfall could reach up to 6 inches in parts of Florida up to the Carolinas, Weather.com reported. Often, these storms have a radius of maximum winds which is farther out than what is observed for purely "tropical" systems. Last year, NOAA predicted that 2017 would be an above-average season, and it certainly was with 17 named storms, including 10 hurricanes.

Subtropical systems can develop into fully tropical storms if they remain over warm water for several days.

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