Surprise Tropical Storm Alberto Off the Coast of Carolina... 1st Storm of the Year..
Don't you just love it? Close in development off the Carolinas, when everyone has been looking at storm formation in the Caribbean and out near the Azores.
Truth is I saw it yesterday morning and discounted it...even though it seemed to be rotating.
I thought it was a sort of what we call "wishcasting" which is basically like a mirage on a hot day on the highway in the desert. But no... I was right, I did see it rotating and close to the surface at that.
In Raleigh this Shabbos and leaving for Miami any day so may get a chance to travel through rain from Alberto if he does indeed move onshore...which is a definitely possibility. Not a big one, but because of his very small size and signature on the satellite imagery a real one. Small storms like this are less likely to be picked up by strong steering currents which would logically take him in a fast circle and out to sea. In this case... he may nudge onto shore and then when turning north (if he does) clip the Wilmington Beach area... Ocean Isle (early thoughts here) before getting swept out to sea.
That little blue dot just off shore South Carolina is Alberto.
I was concerned that he intensified so fast to 60 mph because if they get the intensity forecast off, they get the forecasted track off too. But, for now they are saying that the original estimate was wrong and too low... a ship reported stronger winds. See below:
"TROPICAL STORM ALBERTO TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATE
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL012012 650 PM EDT SAT MAY 19 2012 ...SHIP INDICATES ALBERTO IS STRONGER... REPORTS FROM A SHIP NEAR THE CENTER OF ALBERTO INDICATE THAT THE CYCLONE IS STRONGER THAN PREVIOUSLY ESTIMATED. BASED PRIMARILY ON THE PRESSURE DATA...MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NOW ESTIMATED TO BE 60 MPH...95 KM/H. LITTLE CHANGE IN STRENGTH IS EXPECTED OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AND NO CHANGES TO THE OFFICIAL FORECAST ARE REQUIRED AT THIS TIME."
Either way this is a fast start to the season and it should be interesting what happens over the next 24 hours. Very interesting. The cone should be closer to shore at 11, will see... hard to say, storms like this are a bit of an enigma.
You got to be glad this was not next weekend as everyone in the Carolinas is talking going to the beach over Memorial Day.... a big plus for the economy for those cities along the coast it would be a shame to have had that ruined by a pre-season storm.
Otherwise tonight it is breezy and beautiful in Raleigh due to the Alberto spinning offshore.
New York was wonderful, Miami will be hot, humid and rainy and I'll love every minute... just as I am loving the news this evening that we have started the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season early...
Ps...when I figure out why the new blogger wraps my words funny.. I'll fix it.
For now.. I'm packing ;)