Florida Is In A State Of Emergency As Subtropical Storm Alberto Approaches

Subtropical Storm Alberto heads to the US Gulf

A stronger Alberto to make landfall along Florida panhandle Monday

Hurricane season doesn't officially begin until June 1, but Alberto apparently missed the memo. Rainfall totals of between 5 and 10 inches, with up to 15 inches, are possible from eastern Louisiana to Mississippi, Alabama, western Tennessee and the western Florida panhandle, the NWS said.

Florida, Alabama and MS declared states of emergency on Saturday as the storm threatened up to 12 inches of rain over the Memorial Day weekend, as well as tidal surges and damaging winds, according to Patrick Burke of the weather service's Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

The National Weather Service said: "Swells from Alberto will create unsafe surf and rip currents along the Gulf Coast".

A tornado "or two" may occur over the Florida Keys and parts of southwestern Florida later Saturday afternoon or evening. As it travels up the warm waters of the Gulf, it could well become a full tropical storm.

Winds from the storm are forecast to hit Florida's Panhandle on Sunday night.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect from the Mississippi/Alabama border all the way through to Bonita Beach, Florida. A high surf warning was in effect through 7 p.m. Tuesday local time. At this hour, Alberto has strengthened and now has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and pressure is down to 991 mb. Tropical storm force winds can be expected across southern and western parts of Georgia, Alabama, and southern and western MS throughout the day on Monday (see Fig. 1).

Subtropical Storm Alberto heads to the US Gulf
Florida Is In A State Of Emergency As Subtropical Storm Alberto Approaches

Alberto, which spun up days before the formal start of the 2018 hurricane season, was moving north at about 14 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds near 50 miles per hour, and higher gusts, on Sunday, the NWS said.

A subtropical storm like Alberto has a less defined and cooler center than a tropical storm, and its strongest winds are found farther from its center. Subtropical storms can develop into tropical storms, which in turn can strengthen into hurricanes.

A view of a partially flooded farm as Subtropical Storm Alberto passes by the west coast of Cuba, in Bahia Honda, Cuba, May 26, 2018.

Forecasters say heavy rains from Subtropical Storm Alberto could cause flooding across most of SC. Some beachfront and riverfront communities are already handing out sandbags.

Subtropical Storm Alberto was disrupting plans for Memorial Day barbecues and beach outings in Alabama, Florida and MS, as the storm continued churning north through the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday. Along with heavy rains and high winds come rough seas and a threat of rip currents from Florida to Louisiana that can sweep swimmers out to sea.

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