NHC: Subtropical Storm Alberto forms over Caribbean Sea

By Troy Bridges - Meteorologist, Brianna Volz - Web producer

ORLANDO, Fla. - The News 6 Pinpoint Weather team is continuing to monitor a Subtropical Storm that is currently over the Caribbean Sea.

The system is expected to move north into the Gulf of Mexico, where there is plenty of warm water in the 80s to help fuel it, News 6 meteorologist Troy Bridges predicted.

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The system will encounter upper-level winds, with the wind shear helping to keep the storm from strengthening into a major hurricane.

The main threat to Central Florida from the system will be flooding rain.

"We could see up to 8 inches of rain by the middle of next week, as waves of moisture continue to stream in for late Friday, most of Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and even Wednesday," Bridges said.

As of 4 a.m. Friday, the National Hurricane Center was giving the system a 90 percent chance of development within the next two days and a 90 percent chance within the next five days. 

Shortly before 10:30 a.m., the storm officially received the name "Alberto."

Most computer models take the system closer to New Orleans rather than Florida's West Coast.

The size of the system will impact when and how much rain Central Florida is expected to receive.

"Because this low is so wide and will continue to widen out, stretching nearly 1,000 miles, it will bring bands of rain into Florida," Bridges said. "First along the western coast and then into Central Florida for several days."

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Since Central Florida is expected to be on the right side of the system, there is a chance of seeing some stronger wind gusts and even a couple of rotating storms that could lead to tornadoes, according to Bridges.

The timeline for their strongest storm would begin Saturday afternoon and linger into Monday.

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Central Florida will begin to see increased moisture Friday, along with a southeasterly wind.

"This wind will be fairly late, at 5 to 10 mph, but we will see a 60 percent coverage of afternoon showers with embedded thunderstorms on Friday," Bridges said.

Temperatures are staying hot Friday, with highs expected to reach 89 degrees, just one degree shy of the average for this time of year in Central Florida.

On Thursday, temperatures warmed to 91 degrees, a couple degrees hotter than the average high of 89 degrees. The record high for Thursday's date, which is 97 degrees, was set in 1956.

Rain chances will increase to 80 percent Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

After plenty of rain throughout the last week, there is still a need for more.

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"We saw no official rain yesterday in Central Florida, putting our deficit at 2.52 inches since the first of January," Bridges said. "There is still a surplus of nearly 7 inches since the first of the year in Daytona Beach."

News 6 will continue to monitor the tropics throughout the holiday weekend. Continue checking on air and at ClickOrlando.com/weather for updates on the system's potential development.

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