The first named storm of the 2018 Atlantic Tropical Cyclone season forms in the Gulf of Mexico.
Subtropical Storm Alberto’s centre is about 195 miles southwest of the western tip of Cuba, according to the US-based National Hurricane Center.
Cayman Islands National Weather Service Director General John Tibbetts tells Cayman 27 the system is expected to produce lingering showers over the Cayman Islands area through the first half of next week.
The Government of Mexico has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula from Tulum to Cabo Catoche. The Government of Cuba has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the western Cuban province of Pinar del Rio.Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area through Saturday. Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is forecast for the next 72 hours.
On the forecast track, Alberto is expected to pass near the eastern coast of the Yucatan peninsula tonight, be near the western tip of Cuba Saturday morning, emerge over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by Saturday night, and approach the north-central Gulf Coast on Monday.
Alberto is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10-to-15 inches with isolated totals of 25 inches across the northeastern portions of the Yucatan Peninsula and western Cuba, according to the NHC.
These rains could produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. Rainfall accumulations of 4-to-8 inches with maximum amounts of 12 inches are possible across the Florida Keys and southern and southwestern Florida. Heavy rain will likely begin to affect the central Gulf Coast region and the southeastern Untied States later this weekend and continue into early next week. Flooding potential will increase across this region early next week as Alberto is forecast to slow down after it moves inland, according to the NHC.
Tune into Cayman 27 News at 6 p.m. for more updates.