MIAMI - Alberto is finally showing signs of organization and there are some changes in the forecast. Forecasts for disorganized systems without a well-defined center are always less certain.
The center has re-formed north of the western tip of Cuba. This essentially jumps Alberto forward, so things will happen faster now. This means that the effects of the storm in the Keys and the southern peninsula should start to decrease Sunday. Boating conditions will continue to be dangerous, however.
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By late Sunday and Monday, Alberto will be far north in the Gulf, but our weather will come down to where Alberto's tail ends up. Alberto is shaped like a comma. The tail is the moisture feed from the tropics into the storm.
The tail is forecast to be right over South Florida Monday afternoon. If that happens, heavy thunderstorms will be likely. If the tail were east or west, however, our weather would be much better.
While the European is the best model we have, plus or minus 50 miles is not forecastable, so we have to continue to be ready for heavy rain and some gusty winds on Monday.
The new location closer to Florida also implies that the center of the storm may come close enough to the west coast of the state, including the Tampa Bay area, to cause dangerous winds and some storm surge. Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued for that area. This does not affect South Florida.
Alberto is forecast to intensify into a strong tropical storm -- a Cat 1 hurricane can't be totally ruled out -- when it approaches the Florida Panhandle or the Alabama coast on Monday. Warnings for wind and storm surge have been issued for that area.
With Alberto's quicker move to the north, more typical summertime weather should return to South Florida by midweek.
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