The National Hurricane Center officially declared the formation of Tropical Storm Alberto this afternoon, marking the first named system of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The storm system is located off the coast of South Carolina, and is expected to move slowly over the next 24 hours before accelerating northeast up the East Coast (but remaining offshore). Maximum sustained winds as of Saturday afternoon were 40 kts (or 45 miles per hour), and Alberto had a minimum central pressure of 1007 millibars. The system was moving southwest at 3 kts (3 miles per hour). The National Hurricane Center’s cone of uncertainty (right) includes some of the forecast area, including the New Jersey Shore. We aren’t currently expecting the storm system to landfall in our area, but being in the cone of uncertainty generally suggests that interests in that area should keep a very close eye on the forecast over the next few days for any shifts or adjustments.
The expected track of the storm system suggests our forecast area could feel some prolonged impacts from the system. The storm system is not particularly strong, nor is it expected to impact our area directly. However, showers and thunderstorms associated with Alberto are expected to impact the area beginning on Monday. Some periods of heavy rain and gusty winds are certainly possible Monday through Tuesday with the scattered showers/storms. Widespread heavy rain, flooding, or severe weather impacts are not expected.
Stay tuned over the next day or two for constant updates and information on the tropical system and impacts expected in our area.