The hurricane season for the Atlantic officially begins June 1 and runs through November 30.
The National Hurricane Center on Friday jumped ahead and named the first storm of 2018 in the Atlantic - Subtropical Storm Alberto - a week before the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season on June 1.
The National Hurricane Center is monitoring a new tropical system that will bring heavy rain to Florida and the Gulf Coast states by Memorial Day. This means tropical storm force winds of 39 mph or greater are possible within 48 hours.
The system will be named Alberto if it reaches the storm level.
The first tropical storm of the year is about to form in the Gulf of Mexico. "In the tropical storm, waters are very warm". At that point it might become stronger, although no strengthening is expected on Monday.
- Many parts of north Georgia are already pretty waterlogged from daily downpours over the last week.
While some models project Alberto's strongest sustained winds will reach 65 miles per hour, the biggest threat for many in the northern Gulf states - including the Wiregrass area - is heavy rainfall. On Thursday afternoon forecasters gave the system a 90 percent chance of turning into a subtropical or tropical depression by late Saturday as it moves into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.
Rainfall by the end of the weekend is expected to be between 2 and 4 inches, but areas close to the Gulf Coast could see as much as 6 or 7 inches depending on how Alberto develops and tracks.
National Weather Service meteorologists said details of the weekend forecast are dependent on the track and development of would-be Alberto in the Gulf of Mexico.
If that were to happen it would put Alabama on the east side and more likely to get heavy rain. Rip currents will also be a concern at affected beaches over the busy holiday weekend, especially along the northern Gulf Coast.
Torrential rain, flooding and thunderstorms are likely across the Caribbean, the Gulf states and southern USA states even if a tropical storm does not materialise.
Weather models are pointing to Saturday evening through Monday as having the largest possibilities for tornadoes.