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Tropical Storm Alberto (01L) First Storm of 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season – May 19th, 2012

30.7N 79.3W

May 19th, 2012 Category: Image of the day, Tropical Storms

Tropical Storm Alberto (01L) - May 19th, 2012

Tropical Storm Alberto (01L) - May 19th, 2012

Enhanced image

Track of Tropical Storm Alberto (01L) - May 19th, 2012 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TS 01L

On May 18th, a low pressure system stalled just off the coast of South Carolina, and developed. On May 19th, it quickly gained tropical characteristics, and was named Tropical Storm Alberto (01L) that afternoon. Soon afterwards, Tropical Storm Alberto quickly began to strengthen, as it slowly moved southwestwards, closer to the South Carolina coast.

Alberto is the first named storm in May, in the Atlantic basin, since Arthur in 2008, and the earliest tropical storm (with non-subtropical origins) since Ana in April 2003. Combined with Aletta’s preseason development in the northeast Pacific ocean, this became the first occurrence where systems reached tropical storm status in both the Atlantic and East Pacific basins, prior to the official start date of their respective hurricane seasons.

As of 6:50 p.m. EDT (2250 UTC) May 19, Tropical Storm Alberto is located within 30 nautical miles of 32.2°N 77.9°W, about 140 mi (225 km) east-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina and about 120 mi (195 km) south of Cape Fear, North Carolina. Maximum sustained winds are 50 knots (60 mph, 95 km/h), with stronger gusts. Minimum central pressure is 995 mbar (hPa; 29.38 InHg), and the system is moving southwest at 3 kt (3 mph, 6 km/h).

Spiral Shape of TS Alex (01L) as it Gained Hurricane Strength

23.8N 93.5W

July 7th, 2010 Category: Tropical Cyclones

Hurricane Alex (01L) - June 29th, 2010

Hurricane Alex (01L) - June 29th, 2010

Alex - Enhanced image

Alex - Enhanced image

On June 25th, the National Hurricane Center began issuing advisories on Tropical Depression One, the first tropical depression of the season. Early on June 26, the NHC upgraded the depression to a tropical storm and named it Alex (01L).

Alex moved west and strengthened before making landfall in Belize with 65 mph winds on June 26. On June 27, Alex emerged into the Bay of Campeche and began to strengthen again.

On June 29, after continuous drops in pressure, the Hurricane Hunters found that Alex had strong enough winds to be upgraded to hurricane status. This image shows the system on that day, with an interesting coiled shape. Accordingly, later that night, Alex was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane.

This made the storm the first hurricane of the season, and the first June hurricane in the Atlantic since 1995’s Hurricane Allison. Alex later went on to make landfall as a powerful Category 2 hurricane in Soto la Marina.