Florida declares state of emergency over Subtropical Storm Alberto

Florida declares state of emergency over Subtropical Storm Alberto

Normally packed with vacationers over the Memorial Day weekend, beaches along the eastern U.S. Gulf Coast are largely empty as a slowly strengthening storm carrying brisk winds and heavy rain approaches.

The governors of Florida, Alabama and MS all declared states of emergency ahead of the storm. 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.

The Mississippi Coast shouldn't see much rain from the system until Monday.

National Hurricane Center forecasters said that as of 11 a.m., the storm was about 130 miles (210 kilometers) southwest of Tampa.

The forecast track of Subtropical Storm Alberto has shifted farther east, the National Hurricane Center said Saturday night.

It is not organized enough yet to be a tropical storm, and is considered subtropical.

Subtropical Storm Alberto heads to the US Gulf

Rick Scott issued the declaration for all 67 counties in his state. In Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bryant said on Twitter that he has signed an emergency proclamation to make the National Guard and other resources available.

Watches were issued for storm surges - life-threatening inundations from rising coastal waters moving inland - for a stretch of coastline between Crystal River, Florida, and the mouth of the Mississippi River. Authorities were warning of unsafe surf and rip current conditions later Saturday.

Regardless of its path and intensity, Alberto expected to bring heavy rains of more than 10 inches and flash flooding to western Cuba and southern Florida, the National Hurricane Center said. Isolated tornadoes could erupt over the Florida Keys or southwestern Florida late Saturday. A storm surge watch has been discontinued west of the Florida/Alabama border.

A tropical storm watch is in effect for parts of MS and Alabama, meaning the conditions for a full storm are possible in the next 48 hours. At this hour, Alberto has strengthened and now has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and pressure is down to 991 mb.

In our area, the primary threat from Alberto is flooding from heavy rainfall.

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.

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