Alberto still strong as it approaches Gulf Coast

Theresa Obrien
May 28, 2018

"The main concern from Alberto is flooding; not so much along the immediate coast, but inland, from the heavy rains that are coming on top of over a week of rain across the southeast", said Chuck Watson, a disaster modeler at Enki Research in Savannah, Georgia. In between the rain, mostly to partly cloudy skies will prevail with muggy conditions.

At 11 a.m. EDT Sunday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Alberto was about 130 miles (210 kilometers) west-southwest of Tampa, Florida, and moving north at 14 mph (22 kph). A tropical storm warning was discontinued from Florida's Anclote River to the Suwannee River.

Mr Burke said: "This is jogging more to the east and will hit the Florida panhandle".

Alberto - the first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season - was continued roiling toward parts of coastal Mexico and Cuba with rip currents and unsafe surf on Saturday.

The tropical moisture being pulled northward along with Alberto is forecast to keep things a bit dreary Monday, with rain chances at 70 percent.

Thousands of Florida residents evacuated homes on Sunday as the storm headed north through the Gulf of Mexico. The risk for rip currents will also remain high at area beaches for several days, and water enthusiasts are encouraged to use caution or check with local authorities before entering the water.

What is a tropical storm watch?

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The hurricane center said Sunday that a tropical storm warning was in effect from Bonita Beach, Florida, to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

After that, it will bring powerful winds and heavy rains as it moves into the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday, it said.

You'll likely have to adjust those weekend grilling plans for this Memorial Day weekend: As Subtropical Storm Alberto makes its way north through the Gulf of Mexico, sloppy, wet and potentially risky conditions are expected through Monday. Further strengthening is anticipated prior to landfall, which is now projected to be early Monday morning in the vicinity of Panama City Beach.

Maximum sustained winds were near 40 miles per hour with higher gusts.

Expect potentially strong to severe storms Monday afternoon and into Monday evening with training bands of rain that could lead to localized flooding. And just as Memorial Day marked summer's unofficial start in the U.S., Alberto gave it the unofficial start of what forecasters recently predicted would be an active hurricane season.

Heavy downpours were expected to begin lashing parts of Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Sunday. Due to the scattered variety, not all areas will see the storms. Essentially, the characteristics of a subtropical system mean it lacks the punch to quickly increase in strength and become a hurricane.

Last year's hurricane season saw 12 named storms. This is almost 60 miles east and about six hours sooner than the forecast issued by the National Hurricane Center one day ago, but well within the margin for error two days out.

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