Alabama, Mississippi activate National Guard ahead of Subtropical Storm Alberto

Alabama, Mississippi activate National Guard ahead of Subtropical Storm Alberto

The center of Alberto is moving closer to the Panhandle, with rain bands and gusty winds continuing to spread onshore.

A storm surge watch is in place for part of the panhandle from the Suwanee River to Mexico Beach.

The Mississippi governor Phil Bryant also declared a state of emergency as the state is in the storm's current path. Florida, Alabama and MS are under states of emergency.

Ivey also activated Alabama's emergency operations center, and the state's National Guard prepared high water evacuation teams.

Alberto, the first named Atlantic storm of 2018, which spun up days before the formal June 1 start of the hurricane season, was packing maximum sustained winds near 105 kilometres per hour and was expected to drop as much as 30cm of rain, slamming an area from MS to western Georgia, the Miami-based hurricane centre said.

If the forecast is correct, the first part of Memorial Day in South Florida will be cloudy but relatively dry, with rain chances increasing Monday afternoon and especially Monday evening - with heavy rain at times.

Flooding was possible in Florida's Miami-Dade and Monroe counties after weeks of rain, with tornadoes possible Saturday and Sunday and rip currents expected on both coasts, forecasters said.

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"As we continue to monitor Subtropical Storm Alberto's northward path toward Florida, it is critically important that all Florida counties have every available resource to keep families safe and prepare for the torrential rain and severe flooding this storm will bring", Scott said.

The National Weather Service said rains in Cuba could produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Florida, Alabama and MS launched emergency preparations on Saturday. The Florida Keys and Florida peninsula could receive 10 inches of rain in some areas.

Authorities in New Orleans urged residents and businesses to "get prepared and stay informed" about the storm. Unfortunately for Apalachicola, the maximum storm surge should arrive at this morning's high tide, resulting in a total water level roughly 3.4 feet above the normal high tide.

The Atlantic hurricane season doesn't officially start until June 1, but Storm Alberto has already thrown the three-day weekend in Florida into chaos.

As of 7 a.m., subtropical storm Alberto was about 100 miles south-southeast of Destin, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a hurricane season forecast Thursday that calls for 10 to 16 named storms, with five to nine hurricanes.

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