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article imageTropical system in Gulf of Mexico to dampen Memorial Day weekend

By Karen Graham     May 25, 2018 in Environment
Concerns are growing that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season may start early with the formation of Tropical Storm Alberto this Memorial Day holiday weekend.
The National Hurricane Center issued a Special Tropical Weather Outlook Friday morning, saying there is a 90 percent chance for a tropical system to develop in the Gulf of Mexico within the next 48 hours.
Meteorologists have been monitoring the low-pressure system located over the northwestern Caribbean Sea just east of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico this week, and now report the system have become better defined overnight. Thunderstorm activity has also increased and become better organized.
Environmental conditions should limit how strong the storm will become. However, even if the storm remains below hurricane strength, it may still create hazards for residents and vacationers in the southeastern United States this holiday weekend.
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National Hurricane Center
Residents of southeastern Louisiana east of Interstate 55 can expect 2 to 4 inches of rain with double that amount in some areas. The Mississippi Gulf Coast could get 4 to 8 inches. The amount of rain is likely to change depending on the speed and track of the system.
"This developing system will have a tough time strengthening while over land into most of Friday," AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said, according to AOL. "However, once over water, it should develop into an organized tropical or subtropical storm system during the weekend."
"Consensus is for the storm to track inland somewhere between easternmost Louisiana and Florida's Apalachee Bay," Kottlowski said. Cities that lie in the potential track of the system include New Orleans; Gulfport, Mississippi; Mobile, Alabama; and Pensacola and Panama City, Florida.
Some locally heavy rainfall is forecast across western Cuba and over much of Florida and the northern Gulf Coast into early next week. The threat of rip currents will steadily increase along the Gulf Coast from Florida westward to Louisiana over the Memorial Day weekend so it is advised that beachgoers heed local warnings.
More about tropical system, Gulf of Mexico, TS Alberto, National hurricane center, Atlantic hurricane season