The first named storm of the season

first namedThe first named storm of the season ALBERTO has been edging up in intensity for the last few hours and has just hit tropical storm strength.

According to Captain Adrian McCourt of Munich Re Syndicate Limited the first named storm of the 2018 season has happened  just a few days before the nominal start date of June 1st.

ALBERTO is moving towards a landfall on the Florida panhandle early tomorrow.

Currently centred around 110 miles west of Tampa on a north-nor’westerly heading, ALBERTO has a hurricane severity index rating of 2 – 1 for size and 1 for intensity – and an expected peak of just 5 – 2 for size and 3 for intensity, which is fairly weak in absolute terms.

Wind speeds at present are between 35 and 45 knots over a radius of 70 miles. This isn’t expected to increase much at peak, perhaps 90 miles and a maximum wind speed of 60 knots.

ALBERTO is likely to be remembered more for rainfall than strong winds.

Upper level shear is still displacing the worst excesses to the east which will mean heavyweights rain along the eastern seaboard of the Florida peninsula as well as along the Gulf coast as far west, perhaps as the mouth of the Mississippi.

Captain McCourt draws information from a number of sources, varying from the reliable agencies such as the UK Met Office, a couple of Europeans and of course many US, particularly military, sources.

He says, “In quiet times, I occasionally share a snippet from one of the more eccentric storm enthusiasts who can always be relied upon to see a cumulus cloud and predict Armageddon.

One such observer is the Canadian guy, or ‘blind sniper’, who seems to have acquired a popular following amongst superyacht Captains, judging from feedback received.

Of him Captain McCourt  says, “He has had the odd success over the years, but has only been remarkable by fairly consistent inaccuracy.