Subtropical Storm Alberto heads to southern states

Ismael LynchMay 29, 2018

Regardless of exact landfall location, additionally strong tropical downpours are expected for much of the Gulf Coast on Memorial Day, with heavy rain causing flash flooding across much of the Gulf Coast region.

Alberto, the first named Atlantic storm of 2018, is expected to reach land on the Gulf Coast on Monday afternoon or evening, the center said. But this is nature.

"We are under this tropical-like influence and that is not going to really breakdown this pattern for at least the better part of this week, " said Al Moore, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Columbia.

The storm was located 50 miles west-southeast of Apalachicola, Fla., and 50 miles south of Panama City, Fla., moving north at a speed of 8 mph, the NHC said in its 11 a.m. EDT update.

Monday morning, Alberto was moving at about 6 mph -down from 14 mph and then 12 mph on Sunday- with maximum sustained winds of about 65 mph.

And on Sunday morning, forecasters put most of Floridas Gulf Coast, from the Lee-Collier county border to Alabama, under a tropical storm warning.

In addition, Alberto will bring high winds and storm surges, with many areas along the northern and eastern Gulf Coast issuing storm surge watches.

The NWS said waves as high as 5.5 metres could pound the popular Gulf beaches in Baldwin County, Alabama, and northwestern Florida on Monday. Just because it's "nice and sunny" after the storm passes, Medlin says there's still a risk for swimmers.

In Miami, organizers called off the sea portion of the Miami Beach Air & Sea Show on Sunday because of heavy rain and rough waters.

Locally, the highest winds were reported at New Smyrna Beach Municipal Airport, with 35 mph wind gusts for several hours and sustained winds of 20-21 mph.

Florida Governor Rick Scott issued the declaration for all 67 counties in his state.

Alberto is predicted to move northward at a faster rate after making landfall in the western Florida Panhandle on Monday.

Pasco County is now under a Tropical Storm Warning. Onshore areas along the coast also account for about 45 percent of USA refining capacity and 51 percent of gas processing. The tropical system became a subtropical storm Friday, the hurricane center said. The storm, coming on the last day of the Memorial Day weekend, was expected to scramble holiday travel.

Hurricane season doesn't formally start until June 1. A subtropical storm means the center of circulation is exposed and the rain and thunderstorms are pushed away from the center.

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