Hurricane Specialist John Cangialosi (L) and Dennis Feltgen, the communications and public affairs officer, look at weather data at the National Hurricane Center on May 24, 2018 in Miami, Florida. Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

After watching an area of disturbed weather for several days, the National Hurricane Center has determined that Subtropical Storm Alberto has formed in the Gulf of Mexico. The storm, currently near the Yucatan Peninsula, is forecast to crawl northward throughout the holiday weekend.

The impact: The storm is eventually likely to come ashore somewhere between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle early next week — possibly as soon as Memorial Day. The storm's biggest threat will not be its winds, but rather, its rains.

  • The National Weather Service is projecting rainfall totals approaching a foot from southern Florida to Louisiana, due to Alberto's slow movement. Therefore, widespread flooding is the biggest concern from this storm. It's also likely to ruin Memorial Day barbecues for millions along the Gulf Coast.
  • In addition, it could disrupt oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico if energy companies are forced to evacuate workers from offshore facilities.

But hurricane season hasn't officially started: The Atlantic hurricane season officially kicks off on June 1, but Mother Nature doesn't always adhere to our calendar. The fact that Alberto has formed prior to the seasonal kickoff doesn't mean we're in for as rough a hurricane season as last year either.

What is a subtropical storm? A subtropical storm has characteristics of a tropical storm as well as a non-tropical, or "extra-tropical," weather system. Oftentimes, such storms evolve into purely tropical weather systems, with the strongest winds and heaviest rains located near the center of the storm.

Track the storm: National Hurricane Center.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 33,867,247 — Total deaths: 1,012,341 — Total recoveries: 23,537,059Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 7,229,319 — Total deaths: 206,887 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: The coronavirus' alarming impact on the body.
  5. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  6. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.
Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook removes Trump ads tying refugees to COVID-19

Photo Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook said Wednesday that it was removing a series of ads from President Trump's campaign that linked American acceptance of refugees with increased coronavirus risk, a connection Facebook says is without merit.

Why it matters: The ads were pulled after they received thousands of impressions and are a sign that the Trump campaign continues to test the limits of social media rules on false information.

Over 73 million people watched the first debate on TV

Data: Nielsen; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 73.1 million people watched the first presidential debate on television on Tuesday night, according to Nielsen ratings.

Why it matters: While that's a sizable audience for any American TV program, it's down more than 13% from the record number of TV viewers who tuned in for the first debate of the 2016 election. The chaotic nature of the debate and the overall uncertainty around this year's election may have pushed some viewers away.