Tropical Storm Alberto: Here Are the Most Affected States

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By Lydia Amazouz Published on June 19, 2024 08:15
First Cyclone Alert Of 2024 Hurricane Season Tropical Storm Alberto

As the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season begins, a potential tropical cyclone in the Gulf of Mexico is drawing significant attention.

Expected to become Tropical Storm Alberto, this system has prompted the National Hurricane Center to issue the first tropical storm watch of the season. The evolving cyclone poses a threat of heavy rain, flooding, and strong winds to parts of Texas and Mexico, highlighting the importance of early preparedness and monitoring.

Potential Impact of the Tropical Storm on Texas and Mexico

A tropical storm watch has been issued from Port O'Connor, Texas, southward to the mouth of the Rio Grande, and along the northeastern coast of Mexico. The system, currently named Potential Tropical Cyclone One, is expected to strengthen into Tropical Storm Alberto by Wednesday. Heavy rainfall is anticipated across the western Gulf Coast, with some areas potentially receiving up to 15 inches of rain, leading to significant flooding risks.

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Michael Brennan, Director of the National Hurricane Center, highlighted the potential dangers: “There’s a potential for flooding and flash flooding over the next several days with heavy rainfall already starting to move into portions of the Gulf Coast.” The system's maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts, extending outward up to 290 miles to the northeast of the center. This broad reach means that even areas far from the storm's center could experience severe weather conditions.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are closely monitoring the system. According to a tweet by Brian Slocum, a meteorologist at WXII 12, “Hurricane Hunter aircraft investigating Potential Tropical Cyclone One found that the circulation looks better, but it's still not a tropical storm. It's expected to become our first named storm of 2024 before landfall in Mexico tonight.”

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Weather Warnings and Forecasts

The National Hurricane Center has forecast that the system will move toward the west-northwest, approaching the western Gulf Coast by late Wednesday. The center of the storm is likely to make landfall in Mexico, but the impacts will be felt across Texas and other parts of the Gulf Coast. Gale warnings have also been issued for portions of the Gulf of Mexico due to the strong winds associated with the storm.

AccuWeather senior meteorologist Dan Pydynowski explained the broader implications: "Even if the tropical storm falls short of reaching tropical storm status, a plume of rich, deep tropical moisture is expected to surge into Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana into the middle of the week." This moisture surge could exacerbate flooding conditions, especially in already vulnerable areas.

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Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel warned on Twitter, “Double-digit rainfall totals likely along the coastal counties of Texas and potentially Houston. Flash flooding is a possibility in some parts of Texas, including in Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Houston, and San Antonio.”

Broader Implications for the Hurricane Season

This storm, expected to be named Alberto, signals the start of what is anticipated to be an active hurricane season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has forecast an 85% chance for an above-average year, with the potential for numerous named storms and hurricanes. This prediction underscores the importance of preparedness and monitoring as the season progresses.

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Rick Spinrad, NOAA Director, emphasized the need for vigilance: “The Atlantic hurricane season is shaping up to be extraordinary. With an 85% chance for an above-average year, it's crucial for everyone in hurricane-prone areas to prepare and stay informed.”

As the first named storm of the season, Alberto will serve as a critical test for readiness and response mechanisms along the Gulf Coast and beyond. The situation remains dynamic, and residents in the affected areas are advised to stay informed and prepared for potential evacuations and other emergency measures.

Monitoring and Preparedness

Forecasters and emergency management teams will continue to monitor the system closely, providing updates and advisories as the situation evolves. The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate the system to gather more data and refine the forecasts.

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Residents along the Gulf Coast, particularly in Texas and Mexico, should stay vigilant and heed warnings from local authorities. The threat of heavy rain, flooding, and strong winds necessitates a high level of preparedness to mitigate the impacts of this early-season storm.

Keeping abreast of the latest weather updates and ensuring readiness for emergency situations will be crucial as Tropical Storm Alberto approaches.

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