Alberto becomes first named storm of the '06 hurricane season

Twelve days into the 2006 Atlantic Hurricane Season, the first hurricane warning of the season was issued for parts of Florida’s Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Alberto strengthened in the Gulf of Mexico with winds of 70 mph.

The storm’s sustained winds have to hit the 74 mph mark to make it a hurricane, which Alberto is expected to do before making landfall June 13.

Alberto began as a nameless tropical depression June 9 and meandered and floundered for two days, dumping more than 10 inches of rain on western Cuba before strengthening to a tropical storm (winds above 39 mph) with a name on June 11.

The first named storm of the 2005 season was tropical storm Arlene, which formed June 9 and made landfall near Pensacola, Fla.

Forecasters predict up to 16 named storms this season, with six of them becoming major hurricanes.

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Gay Nagle Myers at [email protected].

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