Tropical Storm Alex: System named, races toward Bermuda

A disorganized weather system in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico made landfall in Southwest Florida on Saturday, causing heavy rains and raising concerns about flooding. It was named Tropical Storm Alex on Sunday, making it the first named storm of the 2022 hurricane season in the Atlantic basin.

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The National Hurricane Center said that the storm, called Potential Tropical Cyclone One, was expected to make landfall sometime Saturday. The hurricane center said it held off on naming the storm, even though its maximum sustained winds were stronger than 39 mph, because the system had a 250-mile-long area of light winds and no well-defined center. It would have been named Alex.

Update 6:48 a.m. EDT June 5: The National Hurricane Center finally named the storm system, as Tropical Storm Alex raced toward Bermuda after dumping heavy rains on Florida. In its 5 a.m. advisory, the hurricane center said Alex had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. The storm, located 270 miles northeast of Fort Pierce, Florida, was moving northeast at 22 mph and was expected to move close to Bermuda on Monday.

Update 8:16 p.m. EDT June 4: The National Hurricane Center in its 8 p.m. EDT advisory stated that the storm’s center had moved away from Florida and was located about 105 miles northeast of Fort Pierce, Florida, and about 885 miles west-southwest of Bermuda.

The disorganized disturbance continued moving northeast at 18 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, the center stated.

Per the forecast, a turn toward the east-northeast with an additional increase in forward speed is expected on Sunday, followed by a turn toward the east Monday night. The storm is expected to move near or to the north of Bermuda on Monday.

The disturbance is expected to become a tropical or subtropical storm Saturday night or Sunday, with some strengthening possible through Monday.

Tropical storm-force winds currently extend outward about 210 miles to the east of the center, the NHC stated.

Heavy rainfall across South Florida and the Keys is expected to diminish through Saturday evening.

Update 1:56 p.m. EDT June 4: The National Hurricane Center said in its 2 p.m. EDT advisory that the center of the disorganized storm was about 15 miles south-southwest of Fort Pierce, Florida. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and was moving northeast at 18 mph. It was expected to move into the Atlantic Ocean later Saturday.

Flooding rains are continuing across South Florida as the system moves through the state, the hurricane center said.

Update 11:04 a.m. EDT June 4: In its 11 a.m. EDT advisory, the National Hurricane Center the storm was located 35 miles northeast of Naples, Florida and about 100 miles southwest of Vero Beach. The storm maintained maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. The storm was moving northeast at 18 mph and was expected to continue through the Florida peninsula until reaching the Atlantic Ocean.

Update 10:08 a.m. EDT June 4: The National Weather Service in Miami said it received reports of more than 6 inches of rain in the Miami-Dade County area over the past 24 hours, with some locales reporting up to 11 inches of rain, the Miami Herald reported. More than 4 inches of rain fell in Fort Myers on Friday. the News-Press reported.

Original report: In its 8 a.m. EDT advisory, the hurricane center said the poorly defined center of the storm was located about 45 miles south-southwest of Fort Myers, Florida. Maximum sustained winds remained at 40 mph. It was moving northeast at 18 mph.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for the Florida Keys, including the Dry Tortugas, Florida Bay and the west coast of Florida from Bonita Beach to Card Sound Bridge. Warnings also extended up the east coast of the state from Card Sound Bridge to the Volusia County-Brevard County line, and Lake Okeechobee was also under storm warnings, the hurricane center said.

The system formed from the remnants of Hurricane Agatha in the eastern Pacific. The storm slammed into the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca on Monday, WTVJ reported. It produced heavy rain that led to flooding, mudslides and the deaths of at least 10 people, according to the television station.

Flash and urban flooding are expected across South Florida, the Naples Daily News reported.

According to Miami Fire-Rescue, there were “multiple cars” stuck in water, the Miami Herald reported. There were areas of flooding in Miami, Miami Beach and Hollywood, according to the newspaper.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting an above-average year for storms in the Atlantic basin, CNN reported. The agency predicted between 14 and 21 named storms, six to 10 hurricanes and between three and six storms that reach Category 3 strength or stronger.

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