Tropical Storm Alberto (1994)

Tropical Storm Alberto (1994)

Infobox Hurricane
Name=Tropical Storm Alberto (1994)
Type=Tropical storm
Image location=Tropical Storm Alberto (1994).jpg

Formed=June 30, 1994
Dissipated=July 10, 1994
1-min winds=55

Fatalities=30 direct
Areas=Florida Panhandle, Alabama, Georgia
Hurricane season=1994 Atlantic hurricane season

Tropical Storm Alberto was the first storm of the 1994 Atlantic hurricane season. It hit Florida across the Southeast United States in July, causing a massive flooding disaster while stalling over Georgia and Alabama. Alberto caused $500 million in damage (1994 USD) and 30 deaths.

Meteorological history

A tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa on June 18. It moved westward across the dry, shear-ridden Atlantic Ocean, and remained weak until passing through the Greater Antilles. Deep convection developed over the wave in response to light vertical shear and warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, and organized into Tropical Depression One near the Isle of Youth on June 30. A trough of low pressure brought the depression to the northwest over the Gulf of Mexico, remaining weak due to increased upper level shear. The shear abated, allowing the depression to strengthen into Tropical Storm Alberto on July 2.

Alberto continued to the north-northeast in response to a short wave trough, and steadily strengthened as the convection became embedded around the center. Tropical Storm Alberto peaked at 65 mph winds just as it was making landfall near Destin, Florida. The storm would have likely attained hurricane status had it been over water just hours longer, as a warm spot was apparent near the beginning of an eyewall feature. Alberto quickly weakened to a tropical depression over Alabama as it continued to the northeast, but retained a well-organized circulation. High pressures build to its north and east, causing the remnant tropical depression to stall over northwestern Georgia. It turned to a west drift, and dissipated over central Alabama on July 7.


Rainfall near the center and in its main inflow band south of the cyclone led to significant rainfall across Georgia and the Florida Panhandle. During this time, massive amounts of rain fell on that area, with Albany, Georgia recording 24 inches or over 600 millimeters of rain in 24 hours ending on July 10. The highest total was three miles southwest of Americus, where 27.85" fell, much of it in a 24 hour period. The Flint River rose to its highest recorded level ever, reaching several miles or kilometers wide in some places, including Albany. The river devastated the downtown area of Montezuma, GA when the levy was topped by the river, causing some buildings to be submerged under as much as 16 feet of water. The Ocmulgee River at Macon, Georgia also rose to its highest level ever recorded and subsequently shut down parts of Interstates 16 and 75. The [Chattahoochee River] also flooded, but not as badly due to dams.

right|150px|thumb|Rainfall totalsTens of thousands of people were evacuated from low-lying areas, even well outside and above the normal flood plains of the rivers. Among thousands of homes and hundreds of businesses, the campus of Albany State University was flooded up to the second floor (the first floor above ground floor). The enormous water pressure from this deep flooding also caused caskets to pop out of the ground in several area cemeteries, sometimes getting hung up in trees downstream along with drowned livestock.

The remains of Tropical Storm Alberto caused the worst disaster in Georgia's history, and one of the worst in AlabamaFact|date=February 2007. The rainfall amounts caused 28 fatalities in Georgia and 2 casualties in Alabama. In addition, Alberto caused around $500 million in damage, mostly from crop or property damage.

Lack of retirement

Despite the severe damages and loss of life, the name Alberto was not retired and was re-used in 2000, 2006, and is currently on the list of names for the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season.

ee also

*List of tropical cyclones
*List of wettest tropical cyclones in the United States

External links

* [ NHC Alberto report]
* [ NWS Service Assessment]

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