5/19 6:50PM EDT – Tropical Storm Alberto
Location: 32.2°N 77.9°W
Max sustained: 60 mph
Moving: SW at 3 mph
Min pressure: 995 mb
At 5PM EDT advisory from the National Hurricane Center, a low pressure system off the North Carolina / South Carolina coast has formed into Tropical Storm Alberto.
At 6:50pm a ship indicated the center of Alberto has 60mph winds.
Below is an ASCAT scan taken at 6:30PM EDT. This scan only shows maximum winds of 40 knots, or about 45mph. I’m slightly skeptical of the 60mph windspeed the ship reported. That would involve a storm intensifying extremely rapidly. Radar on the other hand is showing a weakening of the core of Alberto.
Alberto should not get any stronger, waters are too cold off the coast of North Carolina to support such windspeed. Therefore, I do not believe there is any risk that Alberto will become a hurricane. Furthermore, Alberto will stay enough offshore that it will not cause significant damage to land. Strong gusts will become common on the coasts of North Carolina and South Carolina however.
An intermediate update from the NHC states:
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.