Saturday, June 10, 2006

First Tropical Depression

The 2006 hurricane season began last week, and now we have our first tropical depression:

The depression, which will be given the name Alberto once its maximum sustained winds reach 39 miles per hour (63 km per hour), was located around 45 miles west-southwest of Cabo San Antonio on the western tip of Cuba at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT).

It was expected to bring heavy rain to the communist-run Caribbean island and also served as a wake-up call to residents of U.S. coastal areas battered by eight hurricanes in the last two years, including Hurricane Katrina -- the most costly natural disaster in U.S. history and one of the deadliest.

The depression was moving north-northwestward, and while the longer-term tracks of storms are always highly uncertain, was expected to make landfall on Monday somewhere between central Florida and the state's westernmost reaches near Alabama, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

It looks like this summer and fall will be another bumpy ride.

We have a map:

And it has become Tropical Storm Alberto.