Alberto forms in the Gulf - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Alberto forms in the Gulf, flooding rains forecast

The 2018 hurricane season doesn’t officially start until June 1. (Source: National Weather Service) The 2018 hurricane season doesn’t officially start until June 1. (Source: National Weather Service)

(RNN) – The first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season made its debut before the season officially began.

Subtropical Storm Alberto formed Friday on the edge of the Yucatan Peninsula, on the western end of the Caribbean. The system's located about 85 miles south-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico.

"Alberto is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 15 inches with isolated totals of 25 inches across the northeastern portions of the Yucatan Peninsula and western Cuba," the National Hurricane Center said. "These rains could produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides."

The storm has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. It's expected to gradually strengthen over the next three days as it begins to move to the north.

hurricane center map shows Alberto approaching the Gulf Coast on Monday, somewhere between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle.

The official start of hurricane season isn't until June 1.

Rainfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches with maximum amounts of 12 inches are possible across the Florida Keys and southern and southwestern Florida," the NHC said. "Heavy rain will likely begin to affect the central Gulf Coast region and the southeastern United States later this weekend and continue into early next week."

The National Weather Service has issued flash flood advisories across the region.

Last year's hurricane season was brutal.

Nearly all the damage came from three major hurricanes – Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Harvey battered the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Central America. It dumped catastrophic rainfall on the Houston area, causing $125 billion in damage.

Hurricanes Irma and Maria whipped the Caribbean, while Irma cut a path of destruction from St. Martin into Florida.

Maria devastated Puerto Rico and Dominica. It's considered among the worst natural disasters to hit the islands. Large swaths of Puerto Rico are still without power.

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