The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on Subtropical Storm Alberto in the northwestern Caribbean, and it will have big implications in the weather over much of the South for the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend as it moves toward the Alabama Gulf Coast by Monday.
The primary thing Alberto does for North Alabama and Southern Tennessee: the gates of the Gulf open wide, and tropical moisture blows north enhancing our daily coverage of showers and thunderstorms through next week. A few storms linger around this evening, but more develop on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
It will not rain ALL weekend: This tropical system slowly moves near the Gulf Coast of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana between Sunday and Monday. It’s a slow mover, and since the main circulation stays near or just off the coast through Monday, you should not expect it to rain every minute of the day through the weekend here or at the beach.
Instead of all-day rainfall, the increased moisture in the region will make the daily scattered storms more plentiful – especially in the afternoon and evening – on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The best chance of widespread rain in North Alabama holds off until the Tuesday-Wednesday timeframe when the storm’s circulation is well inland bringing a more solid area of rainy, stormy and windy weather northward.
If you’re beach-bound for the holiday weekend, here are some things you’ll need to know:
- There is a high risk of rip currents along the Gulf Coast
- Heavy rain is *likely* and could cause some flooding in South Alabama and Northwest Florida (over 6” of rain possible)
- Sustained winds around 20-40 miles per hour are expected from Sunday through Monday with some higher gusts on the Alabama Gulf Coast.
- There will be some risk of severe weather – including tornadoes – on the east side of this storm’s circulation
Tropical downpours continue: The chance of storms over the weekend is elevated because we have good confidence in chaotic, hit-or-miss, spotty storms. The same goes for Memorial Day; however, at no point through at least Monday does it look like we will have all-day, plan-cancelling rain and storms.
Alberto’s remnant circulation moves north into Central Alabama by Wednesday; that should bring our best coverage of showers and storms (and raise a small severe weather concern).
The low moves east of us on Thursday, and some very hot air out west starts edging in behind it. That surging heat pushes temperatures toward the 90s again and may set of some intense summertime storms Thursday night through Friday morning. We’ll keep a very close eye on that!