It’s not even two weeks old, but the tropical storm season is already beginning.
A tropical storm warning has been issued for Florida’s west coast from Englewood to Indian Pass as Alberto began to become better organized over the central Gulf of Mexico early this morning.
At 5 a.m., Alberto was 320 miles southwest of Cedar Key and moving north-northeast at 8 mph with top winds of 50 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.
Little change in strength is expected as it turns to the northeast — and toward central and northern Florida — later today. Tropical storm winds extend outward for 230 miles, and a tropical storm watch extended south to Bonita Beach.
Alberto, the first named storm of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season, drenched the streets of Cuba and caused thousands there to flee Sunday, as South Floridians braced for heavy rains.
Meteorologists warned residents in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties to prepare for flooding conditions.
We’re expecting what’s called a “rain event” down here in South Florida, with most of the effects to the north and the upper west coast of the state, where they actually need the rain.
We’re already feeling the effects to one extent: stepping outside the house this morning on the way to work, there was enough humidity in the air that it felt like I was mugged by a wet towel.