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Alberto forms in the Gulf, flooding rains forecast

Alberto forms in the Gulf, flooding rains forecast
Posted at 2:37 PM, May 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-25 08:02:49-04

(RNN) – The first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season makes its debut before the season officially begins.

Subtropical Storm Alberto formed Friday on the edge of the Yucatan Peninsula, on the western end of the Caribbean. The system has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.

A National Hurricane Center map shows Alberto making landfall on Monday or Tuesday, somewhere between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle.

The official start of hurricane season isn't for another week.

"Locally heavy rainfall is forecast across western Cuba and over much of Florida and the northern Gulf Coast into early next week," the National Hurricane Center said. "This system could also bring tropical-storm-force winds and storm surge to portions of the northern Gulf Coast by late this weekend or early next week"

Forecast maps show rainfall amounts of 2 to 7 inches will be common across the Southeast, as far north as the Carolinas and as far west as Louisiana.

The National Weather Service has issued flash flood advisories across the region.

Last year's hurricane season was brutal.

Nearly all the damage came from three major hurricanes – Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Harvey battered the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Central America. It dumped catastrophic rainfall on the Houston area, causing $125 billion in damage.

Hurricanes Irma and Maria whipped the Caribbean, while Irma cut a path of destruction from St. Martin into Florida.

Maria devastated Puerto Rico and Dominica. It's considered among the worst natural disasters to hit the islands. Large swaths of Puerto Rico are still without power.

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