Remember when I blogged about the “absurd” GDFL model run that showed Tropical Storm Alberto strengthening over Georgia? Well, don’t look now, but it sure looks on radar like Alberto is trying to wrap some heavy rain around his center of circulation… which is looking a bit more like an eye!
Don’t get me wrong… Alberto isn’t going to become a hurricane over land. If anything, the storm’s healthy appearance on radar even as it moves well inland — it is, at this very moment, crossing the border from Georgia into South Carolina — probably means its transition to an extratropical storm (i.e., not dependant on warm ocean waters) is already underway. This thing is going to become a strong extratropical gale over the Atlantic once it moves back out to sea. Here’s what the NHC said at 11:00 PM EDT:
STRENGTHENING INTO A SIGNIFICANT EXTRATROPICAL GALE AREA OFF THE NORTH CAROLINA OUTER BANKS SEEMS QUITE PLAUSIBLE AT THIS TIME. IT IS ALSO POSSIBLE THAT ALBERTO MAY NOT DROP BELOW TROPICAL STORM STATUS BEFORE EXTRATROPICAL TRANSITION OCCURS… WHICH WOULD REQUIRE A NORTHWARD EXTENSION OF THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING AREA IN THE NEXT ADVISORY.
P.S. Here’s the satellite loop. Definitely some convection firing up near the center!
UPDATE, 5:55 AM MST: Alberto has been downgraded to a Tropical Depression. According to FLhurricane, “It’s held on so long because of the transformation into an extratropical system going on now.” The NHC says:
DOPPLER VELOCITIES AND OBSERVATIONS FROM BUOYS AND CMAN STATIONS OFF THE GEORGIA AND SOUTH CAROLINA COASTS INDICATE THAT WINDS HAVE DROPPED BELOW TROPICAL STORM FORCE. HENCE…THE TROPICAL CYCLONE HAS BEEN DOWNGRADED TO A DEPRESSION AND ALL TROPICAL STORM WARNINGS HAVE BEEN DISCONTINUED. HOWEVER…GALE WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT ALONG PORTIONS OF THE CAROLINAS IN ANTICIPATION OF ALBERTO’S RE-STRENGTHENING AS AN EXTRATROPICAL CYCLONE. … ALBERTO IS QUICKLY LOSING TROPICAL CHARACTERISTICS AND EXTRATROPICAL TRANSITION SHOULD OCCUR IN THE NEXT 6-12 HOURS WITH ADDITIONAL INTENSIFICATION FORECAST ONCE THE SYSTEM RE-EMERGES OVER WATER.