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  • Writer's pictureMeteorologist Beth Carpenter

First Tropical Storm of the Season!

The highly-anticipated and vigorously-forecasted 2024 Atlantic Hurricane season has taken off with its first named storm of the season. Alberto was identified by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) this morning in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, one day earlier than the average first named storm of the year. The storm currently features a minimum central pressure of 995mb and 40mph sustained winds.


Alberto will remain a weak tropical storm, and will make landfall in Mexico early Thursday morning. However, Tropical Storm Warnings (blue line) extend into Texas where gusty winds and significant rainfall are occurring and will persist through tomorrow. It is extremely important to not focus solely on the forecast cone (white shaded area), but on the impacts expected from the entirety of the storm.


Wind- As shown in the NHC forecast image above, the current tropical storm force wind field is HUGE. It currently spans over 600 miles! These gusty winds extend into southern Texas, where winds of up to 50+ mph will be possible through tomorrow. While winds aren't extremely strong, they have caused over 5,000 power outages in Texas and could lead to minor tree damage. NWS maximum forecast wind gusts are shown below.

Rain- Over the past 48 hours, Tropical Storm Alberto has already dropped up to 2" of rainfall near Lake Jackson, Texas with more widespread flooding rainfall of an additional 6-8" expected in the next 2 days across southern portions of the state. Considerable flash flooding and urban flooding is expected. Coastal flooding and flooding of the Texas Barrier Islands has already begun.

Storm Surge- Storm surge is the deadliest component of tropical systems. The expected peak storm surge from Alberto is 2-4 feet above normal water (and ground) levels spanning from Sabine Pass near the Texas-Louisiana border to Sargent, Texas and into the Galveston Bay. This is still a dangerous and damaging amount of water and should not be taken lightly. Storm surge of 1-3 feet will be possible in Louisiana, as well as along the remainder of the Texas coastline to Mexico.

Large Waves- Aside from the increase in water levels from storm surge, large and destructive waves are expected to occur. Seas of 15-20 feet are predicted to occur and move toward Texas and Mexico.

Tornadoes- As with all tropical systems, Alberto poses a threat for tornadoes in its outer bands. The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued a Slight Risk (level 2/5) for severe weather along the southeastern Texas coast, which includes a 5% risk for tornadoes. At least one tornado has already been observed today.

Current Watches and Warnings

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