12 June 2006

Alberto heads for the Florida coast and strengthens...

Alberto has recently intensified quite notably, and now has sustained winds of 60kts and a central pressure of 997mb.  It is forecast to briefly achieve minimal hurricane status prior to landfall.  The forecast track is centered on Piney Point, west of Gainesville, but keep in mind forecast uncertainty... anyone from Tampa to Apalachicola should be prepared for severe tropical weather, which includes strong winds, flash floods, storm surge, and tornadoes.

The storm has slowed down a bit, and landfall isn't expected until Tuesday afternoon now.  This slower motion increases intensification potential, HOWEVER, the oceanic heat content will be lower and vertical shear should be higher, so the net effect might be maintaining intensity or minimal strengthening.

At 15Z today, TS Alberto is located at 27.1N 85.9W and crawling NNE at 6kts.  This puts it 220 miles southwest of Cedar Key, FL and about 36 hours from landfall.
Alberto's circulation is visible from Tampa's radar:
and will be from Tallahassee's radar later today:

Hurricane Warnings and Tropical Storm Warnings are now in effect for much of western Florida -- please visit http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at1+shtml/144536.shtml?3day for the latest warnings.  The biggest threats from this landfall will be storm surge and tornadoes in the spiral rainbands.  Tornadoes have already been reported in western FL, and it's still 36 hours from landfall.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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