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Tropical Storm Alberto forms over the Gulf of Mexico, bringing severe rain, flooding to Texas

Tropical Storm Alberto. Tropical Storm Alberto formed as a tropical depression early in the morning on June 10^ 2006^ in the Yucatan Channel.. Elements of this image furnished by NASA.

Per NBC News, Tropical Storm Alberto, the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, formed over the western Gulf of Mexico. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed on Wednesday that Alberto was moving west at 8 nautical miles an hour, with winds gusting up to 51 mph.

Alberto — the first named storm of the season — is forecast to make landfall in Mexico overnight and is expected to bring heavy rain, coastal flooding and gusty winds to Texas and northeastern Mexico coasts through Thursday. Rain totals could reach 10 inches in Texas and up to 20 inches in the mountains of Mexico, according to the National Weather Service.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Texas coast, from San Luis Pass to Corpus Christi to the mouth of the Rio Grande, with the heaviest rain expected in south Corpus Christi, with forecasters predicting between 6 and 10 inches. There is risk for flash flooding in Corpus Christi and Brownsville and coastal flooding threats for the Louisiana coast, including New Orleans. Storm surge is also anticipated in Galveston and Surfside Beach, where there is already major flooding. Storm surge has already topped 4 feet at San Luis Pass, in Texas, just south of Galveston Island.

The National Hurricane Centre and Central Pacific Hurricane Centre are also tracking a storm currently located several hundred miles east of the Bahamas, sharing in an update: “Environmental conditions are marginally conducive for some gradual development of this system during the next few days while it moves westward or west-northwestward. The system is forecast to approach the coast of the southeastern United States by the latter part of this week.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the state Division of Emergency Management to put the Texas State Emergency Operations Center to a readiness of level 2, meaning it began 24-hour operations: “As we prepare for severe tropical weather, Texas is activating all personnel and resources needed to support Texans and communities that will be potentially impacted by excessive rain and flooding.”

Editorial credit: BEST-BACKGROUNDS / Shutterstock.com

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