Tropical low will bring potential for tons of Memorial Day weekend rain

Tropical depression formation expected Saturday

For the fourth consecutive time, Hurricane Season will start with a name already checked off before June 1st.

Gov. Rick Scott issued an advisory Thursday that said it's "absolutely critical that every Florida family is fully prepared for potential impacts" during the Memorial Day weekend from the brewing storm.

As of Friday morning, the National Hurricane Center says there is a 90% chance we have our first tropical depression or Tropical Storm Alberto in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by Saturday.

Tropical depression formation expected Saturday

Heavy rainfall is expected to affect the Yucatan Peninsula, as well as western Cuba, Florida and the northeastern Gulf Coast over the weekend. Possibly tropical-storm-force wind depending on system's track. Winds of 40 mph extend outward up to 115 miles from the center. Heavy rains were expected in western Cuba, Florida and the northern Gulf Coast into next week.

Update 11 a.m.: The first forecast models are in from the NHC, and they show Alberto avoiding South Florida.

Now spinning off of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, forecasters named the subtropical storm "Alberto," which is the first of 21 names the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has on its list of possible storm names for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. For Alberto to be considered a "tropical" storm, relatively warm air must be contained within its center.

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Up to 12 inches of rain will be possible across extreme southwest Alabama, and a flash flood watch for Mobile, Baldwin and Escambia counties will go into effect on Saturday. The rain is expected to intensify into Sunday and continue into Memorial Day.

The storm is tracking north northwest at 6 miles per hour into the Gulf of Mexico. If you live in a flood-prone area keep a close eye on water levels this weekend and never attempt to drive through flooded roads.

Peter Wolf, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Jacksonville, said if the storm takes the more westerly track, then the rainfall totals will increase.

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The department of Health and Human services did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Surgeon General responded to a medical emergency onboard a Delta flight on Thursday.

Typically water temperatures need to be at least 80 degrees for a tropical storm to form. Regardless of whether the system strengthens, it will bring locally heavy rain to much of Florida into early next week.

There's also a strong threat of rip currents from Florida to Louisiana.

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