Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:08 AM GMT on June 13, 2006
This is Shaun with the latest update.
The current regional radar loop (Figure 1) shows extensive heavy precipitation already pouring into Florida from Alberto. The heaviest activity is right where the panhandle meets the mainland part of the state.
The latest recon mission reported a 68 kt wind at 700 mb, which translates to near 60 kt winds with the 90% reduction to the surface. This means that Alberto is still a tropical storm at the moment. I say at the moment because although water temperatures remain near 79-80 degrees, the atmosphere ahead of the storm center is expected to become more unstable, resulting in some intensification of the storm, possibly to hurricane strength before landfall.
Indeed, the official NHC track (Figure 2) shows a strengthening of the storm just before landfall. The main problem for the Florida coast will be the 8-10 foot storm surge that is expected. This height is especially high for a tropical storm so residents should be aware.
A look at the severe map (Figure 3) shows most of Florida and the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina are under some sort of tropical storm of hurricane watch in anticipation of landfall midday Tuesday.
This sounds like the beginning of a long hurricane season.
Figure 1. Regional radar loop.
Figure 2. Official NHC track for Alberto.
Figure 3. Severe weather map.
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