Additional development of Invest 90L, ultimately becoming Alberto, now seems to be a near certainty. On Thursday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) increased the potential for tropical development to 70 percent over the next two days and up to 90 percent for the next five days. In addition, updated forecast models have come together substantially in the last 12 to 24 hours, with a consensus landfall forecast somewhere between southeast Louisiana and the Alabama/Florida line. Invest 90L looks to remain a relatively slow-moving storm system and the general thinking is it shouldn't reach the Central Gulf Coast before Monday.
In addition, the latest model runs collectively suggest that 90L will become a moderate tropical or sub-tropical storm, displaying a bit more intensification that previously thought. Given the latest forecasted timing, tropical watches are likely to begin along portions of the Central Gulf Coast by or before Saturday afternoon.
Hurricane Hunters are currently scheduled to visit the system on Friday, May 25.
Almost all of the guidance keeps the system east of the WAFB area at landfall, and that means we not only miss out on most of the wind, but likely also avoid the heaviest rains. The current NWS Weather Prediction Center (WPC) 7-day rainfall forecast for the viewing area is still running in the 1” to 3” range, with isolated larger totals.
While the arrival of Alberto has been pushed back, the First Alert Forecast still calls for wet days for the area right through the entire Memorial Day weekend, with rain chances at 60 to 70 percent for Friday through Tuesday. Clouds and passing showers and thunderstorms will keep daytime highs in the 80s through that spell.
The weekend outlook is certainly not a very pretty one for our area, but we are not expecting a string of all-day rains either. Unfortunately, the outlook is even more pessimistic for the Gulf Coast beaches in Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida panhandle.
Be aware there still an opportunity for things to change with 90L. However, the Storm Team is much more confident with this tropical forecast than it was just a day ago.
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