Subtropical storm Alberto continues to organize in the southern Gulf of Mexico, but its sights are set on the Mississippi-Alabama-Florida-Louisiana Gulf Coasts by Memorial Day.
Lots of folks have been asking why Alberto is a subtropical storm instead of the typical tropical storm. It's a matter of semantics on the formation of the storm. A typical tropical cyclone initiates as a surface circulation and draws its energy almost exclusively near the surface.
A subtropical cyclone is different.
Subtropical storms are not fully "warm core" or surface based, and thus form partially with the interaction of a disturbance well above the surface. This might sound minor, but it will likely have a sustained impact on the systems evolution/intensification.
Typically, because of the "shear," or winds aloft, a subtropical cyclone will look somewhat lopsided. This leaves the majority of the heaviest thunderstorm activity sheared to the east. Overall, this sort of an alignment could limit the overall intensification of Alberto as it moves northward.
Ultimately, heavy rain/wind will still accompany this system, with localized rainfall amounts possibly exceeding 5-6", even in North Mississippi. A lot of that will have to do with the track of the system, which will shift in the upcoming days. Stay tuned to the latest forecast discussion at WTVA.com/weather/forecast.