Subtropical Storm Alberto spins more rain into Florida


A tropical storm warning was discontinued from Florida's Anclote River to the Suwannee River.

The NHC maintains a storm surge watch along the US Gulf coast from Crystal River in western Florida to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

Heavy rain from Monday through Wednesday poses a threat of localized flash flooding in the Triad area, the National Weather Service said.

Large cloud formations gather behind the downtown Gulfport, Miss., water tower Saturday afternoon, May 26, 2018, as Subtropical Storm Alberto slowly makes its way through the Gulf of Mexico. 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.

The first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, Subtropical Storm Alberto, gained strength as it approached the northern Gulf Coast, emptying out beaches in Florida ahead of Memorial Day.

"The primary effects we will see from this storm in west central and southwest Florida will be heavy rainfall, isolated thunderstorms, gusty winds, and risky marine conditions", the weather service forecast said.

In a visit to Panama City Beach yesterday, Scott said, "We have already moved some high water vehicles up to the panhandle from Fish and Wildlife".

Florida, Alabama and MS declared states of emergency on Saturday with up to 15 inches (38 cm) of rain forecast over the Memorial Day weekend, as well as tidal surges and damaging winds, according to Patrick Burke of the weather service's Weather Prediction Centre in College Park, Maryland.

Florida governor Rick Scott also declared a state of emergency for all 67 counties Saturday morning to 'prepare for the torrential rain and severe flooding this storm will bring'.

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Alberto's top winds rose to 50 miles (80 kilometers) per hour early Sunday, up from 40 earlier, the National Hurricane Center said in a 11 a.m.

"The combination of storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline", the NHC said, with water potentially reaching 2 to 4 feet above ground if the peak surge occurs during high tide.

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

The first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season that starts Friday prompted Florida, Alabama and MS to launch emergency preparations Saturday. 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. Because of expected deteriorating weather, the sandbag distribution points will not be open Sunday, the county said. Subtropical Storm Alberto is driving north through the Gulf of Mexico, threatening heavy rains and winds to the USA southern coastal states.

"It was a 50-50 chance of whether to come down and we made a decision to chance it", Gasper said.

What is a tropical storm watch?

Alberto is expected to produce heavy rainfall and flooding over western Cuba, South Florida and the Florida Keys, the National Hurricane Center said Sunday. Due to the scattered variety, not all areas will see the storms.

What is a subtropical storm?

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