Hurricane Alberto was the first named storm, first hurricane, and first major hurricane of the 2000 Atlantic hurricane season. Alberto formed in the far eastern Atlantic from a tropical wave that exited the coast of Africa on August 3. Alberto moved west-northwest, then northwest, then northeast, then made a very large loop in the open Atlantic Ocean before finally turning northeast and dissipating on August 23. Alberto is the second longest-lived tropical cyclone on record in the month of August in the Atlantic basin.
Alberto caused no damage and no fatalities.
|Formation||August 3, 2000|
|Dissipation||August 23, 2000|
|Highest winds||125 mph|
|Lowest pressure||950 mbar|
A well-defined tropical wave was identified over Africa on July 30. The wave moved westward and moved off the coast of Africa on August 3. Upon entering the Atlantic Ocean, the wave quickly developed and became Tropical Depression Three later that day, while located near the west coast of Africa. After forming, the depression moved west-northwest, and became Tropical Storm Alberto early on August 4. Alberto moved west-northwest and continued to intensify, although passage over cooler waters on August 5 resulted in Alberto weakening slightly. On August 6, however, Alberto quickly re-strengthened, and that same day, Alberto was upgraded to a hurricane, as an eye developed within its center of circulation. After being upgraded, Alberto took a brief westward turn. Despite this turn, Alberto quickly resumed its west-northwest motion, and on August 7, Alberto reached its first peak with maximum sutained winds of 90 mph. A rather strong upper-level low developed northwest of Alberto on August 7 and August 8. The formation of the upper-level low induced strong vertical wind shear over Alberto, and this caused Alberto to weaken back to a tropical storm on August 9. At the same time, the upper-level low caused Alberto to move northwest. On August 10, the shear relaxed and Alberto re-strengthened into a hurricane. Alberto then moved gradually north and northeast due to a weakness in the subtropical ridge to the north on August 11 and August 12. On August 11, Alberto made its closest approach to Bermuda, passing about 345 miles east of the island. On August 12, Alberto strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale and reached its second peak intensity with 125 mph winds. At this time, a 60 mile-wide eye was observed within Alberto's center.
Alberto as a Category 3 hurricane.
Alberto was an unusual storm in that it reached its peak at a latitude higher than 35°N after it had recurved. Alberto began weakening on August 13 and August 14, due to increased westerly wind shear produced by the westerlies. At this time, Alberto was moving east-northeast. On August 14, Alberto weakened to a tropical storm again. As early as August 10, computer models had anticipated that Alberto would move northeast and out to sea, and become an extratropical cyclone within three days. This did not happen, however, and a trough to the west that had been influencing Alberto outran the storm, and a strong ridge of high pressure developed to the north and west of the cyclone, and caused it to turn to the south on August 15, and to execute a large loop over the open Atlantic Ocean. On August 16, Alberto turned southwest, and on August 17, it turned to the west. Alberto then took a sharp northwesterly turn as a large, slow-moving mid-level trough was moving off the East Coast of the United States. Alberto began strengthening again during this time, and on August 18, Alberto reached hurricane status for the third time. Alberto moved north on August 19, then turned northeast on August 20 and August 21. During this time, Alberto reached a third peak of 105 mph winds on August 20, and a 70-mile wide eye was observed. Operationally, Alberto was thought to have peaked at 110 mph during this time, but post-season analysis concluded Alberto had reached winds of 105 mph instead. As Alberto accelerated northeast into higher latitudes on August 22, it began to weaken again. Early on August 23, Alberto was downgraded to a tropical storm. It was initially forecast that Alberto would become extratropical on August 22, but a burst of cold cloud tops allowed Alberto to remain tropical for a longer period of time, lasting all the way into August 23 as a tropical cyclone, even at the very high latitude of 53°N. Alberto finally became extratropical on August 23, and accelerated north-northeast, passing near Iceland on August 24. As Alberto's extratropical remnants turned east-northeast on August 25, winds dropped below gale-force. Later that day, Alberto finally dissipated about 85 miles east of Jan Mayen.
Preparations and Impact
Alberto had little impact on land. In Dakar, Senegal, 1 inch of rain was reported as the precursor wave to Alberto passed over the city. A discussion released by the National Hurricane Center on August 9 prompted residents of Bermuda to monitor the progress of Alberto until it safely passed. From August 12 to August 14, public advisories were issued advising people in the Azores to monitor the cyclone's progress. When Alberto's foward speed decreased and it moved to the south, these public advisories ceased. A few days after Alberto recurved, some swells were reported along the East Coast of the United States. In Iceland, no reports of Alberto's impact are available, although it is assumed that at least tropical storm-force winds occured there. There are no known damage reports or casualities from Alberto.
Records and Naming
Alberto completed the largest loop ever observed in the Atlantic Ocean, spanning approximately 5 degress latitude by 8 degrees longitude. Alberto is the seventh longest-lasting Atlantic hurricane on record, and the second longest-lasting Atlantic hurricane on record during the month of August, behind the 1899 Hurricane San Ciriaco. Also, Alberto retained tropical characteristics all the way up to an extremely high latitude of 53°N. The last storm in the Atlantic that was able to accomplish that feat was Hurricane Frances of 1980.
The year 2000 marked the fourth time that a tropical cyclone in the Atlantic had been given the name Alberto. Due to the lack of any major effects from the storm, the name Alberto was not retired in the Spring of 2001 by the World Meteorological Organization. It was used again in the 2006 season, and is on the list of names to be used for the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season.