Heavy rain in the forecast for Memorial Day weekend

Tropical depression formation expected Saturday

Hurricane center increases chances of tropical development to 90 percent

The hurricane season for the Atlantic officially begins June 1 and runs through November 30.

The forecast for Memorial Day weekend could be summed up in two words: hot and dry.

The National Hurricane Center said Friday that a low pressure system in the northwestern Caribbean Sea has become better defined overnight and could be a tropical depression or storm by Saturday.

Locally heavy rainfall is forecast across western Cuba and over much of Florida and the northern Gulf Coast and The Southeast States, that includes all of SC, into early next week. Little development is expected during the next couple of days due to strong upper-level winds and proximity to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.However, gradual subtropical or tropical development is possible late this week while the system moves slowly into the central or eastern Gulf of Mexico. It has winds of 40 miles per hour and is stationary. "In Florida, we know how unpredictable severe weather systems can be and while the Gulf Coast and Panhandle are expected to receive the largest impact from this storm, all Floridians should be prepared".

Update 11 a.m.: The first forecast models are in from the NHC, and they show Alberto avoiding South Florida.

According to the National Hurricane Center, tropical storm watches are now in affect for parts of Mexico and Cuba. For Alberto to be considered a "tropical" storm, relatively warm air must be contained within its center.

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Tropical storm watches are in effect for Tulum to Cabo Catoche, Mexico, and the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio. Given how wet it has been, any areas that can pick up another 1"-2" of rain between now and Saturday morning will be at a high risk for flash flooding. Rainfall could reach up to 6 inches in parts of Florida up to the Carolinas.

Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground, said Invest 90L is moving north at about 5 miles per hour into an area where sea surface temperatures are between 77 and 82 degrees.

Flooding was possible in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties after weeks of rain, with tornadoes possible Saturday and Sunday and rip currents expected on both coasts, forecasters said.

The storm is forecast to bring between six and 12 inches of rain to the Northwest Florida area, and there is the possibility of 12 to 24 inches of rain in some areas, the National Weather Service in Mobile, Ala., said.

Some areas under the heavier bands could receive up even more.

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