Alberto zigzags slowly and dampens the weekend

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Morning rain in Mérida as the first named storm of the year grazes Yucatán. Photo: Diario de Yucatán

Just days before the official launch of hurricane season, Yucatán is being spared the worst from the first named storm of 2018.

Rain will continue Saturday and Sunday on the Yucatán Peninsula, a soggy gift from subtropical storm Alberto.

Alberto probably won’t become a hurricane, but it’s still capable of high winds and sustained rain that will cause flooding in other regions.

Yucatán is on the edge of the storm. Alberto’s center is roughly 100 miles east of Cozumel in the northwestern Caribbean Sea. It is chugging north and expected to hit the Gulf of Mexico today, and then the southern United States, where landfall is expected Monday or early Tuesday.

Juan Vázquez Montalvo, head of the UADY Meteorological Center, said the worst Yucatán state will see are intervals of moderate-to-strong rain with winds from the north and gusts on the coast.

“Today and tomorrow it will rain in the whole state, but it will be rainfall with intervals: a downpour falls, it rains moderately from 20 to 30 millimeters, it passes, the sun rises, another band of clouds comes back and it rains again … so it goes to be,” he explained.

Once on the Gulf, Alberto will send humidity and more rain back to Yucatán.

Seasonal rain, without the effects of the storm, will continue Monday, said Vázquez Montalvo.

Coastal populations should be aware of warnings from the Harbor Master’s office because winds up to 50 kilometers per hour/30 miles per hour are possible. If the system strengthens the gusts could pass 62 kph/39 mph. “The best thing would be that those who planned to go out fishing abstain for these days,” advised Vázquez Montalvo.

Two cruise ships arrived early in Progreso, having skipped Cozumel because of the storm. The Carnival Valor and Fantasy came to port on Friday.

For arriving this early, Alberto is an oddity. For the Gulf of Mexico, it is the first system of its kind this time of year, and for the Atlantic, it is only the sixth in all history since records were kept.

The engineer Vázquez Montalvo warns that it is necessary to keep an eye on Alberto because being a subtropical system, it is erratic, zigzagging very slowly to the north.

Source: Diario de Yucatán

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