A stronger Alberto to make landfall along Florida panhandle Monday

A stronger Alberto to make landfall along Florida panhandle Monday

Florida and MS launched emergency preparations Saturday ahead of the arrival of Subtropical Storm Alberto, a slow-moving system expected to cause wet misery across the eastern U.S. Gulf Coast over the holiday weekend.

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. A tropical storm warning has been issued for the Dry Tortugas.

Landfall is most likely in the Florida Panhandle, maybe before sunrise near Apalachicola, or as late as the evening it were to take a more westward track to Pensacola.

At 5 A.M. the National Hurricane Center states Subtropical Storm Alberto may be making a slow transition to a more purely tropical system.

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.

Alberto approaches Panhandle, as more rain expected in Central Florida
The storm is the first storm of this year's hurricane season, coming a few day before the season officially starts on June 1. This would mean the storm would become more compact around its centre, with the strongest winds and rain located here.

Florida's Governor, Rick Scott, has also declared a state of emergency. Phil Bryant authorized the use of the National Guard, his office said in a statement.

On Friday morning, the agency announced that an area of low pressure in the Caribbean had developed into Subtropical Storm Alberto with maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour.

The first named storm of this season, Alberto is expected to strengthen as it moves up the Gulf this weekend, the National Hurricane Center said, bringing heavy rains and possible floods to Florida and much of the Southeast in the coming days. A gradual strengthening was expected as the storm moves north.

There is a 60 percent chance of rain Monday and 50 percent that night, and tropical storm conditions are possible.

The downpours could dampen Memorial Day, the unofficial start of the summer tourist season along Gulf beaches. The higher initial impacts of surge, rain, wind, would be eastward into the western and central Florida Panhandle, and later into Escambia Co AL and Conecuh Co AL.

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