Alberto helping bring potentially flooding rain to the Triangle on Memorial Day

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A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Suwannee River in the Big Bend area of Florida to the Mississippi/Alabama border.

Alberto - the first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season - has formed in the Caribbean and is churning towards the US Gulf Coast. Along with heavy rains and high winds come rough seas and a threat of rip currents from Florida to Louisiana that can sweep swimmers out to sea.

It was centred about 185km (115 miles) south-west of Florida's Panama City, at 01:00 CET (6:00GMT).

Little change in strength is forecast before Alberto reaches the northern Gulf Coast.

Alberto was expected to drop as much as 12 inches (30 cm) of rain, slamming an area from MS to western Georgia, the Miami-based hurricane center said. Rain moving north off the Atlantic Ocean was expected to arrive in the Triangle about 11 a.m. on Memorial Day and continue on and off through the evening and overnight hours.

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Its center passed parallel of Apalachicola and was about 30 miles south-southwest of Panama City, the NHC said.

A view of a partially flooded farm as Subtropical Storm Alberto passed by the west coast of Cuba, in Bahia Honda, Cuba, May 26, 2018.

The risk of flash flooding was only marginal -5 percent- in the Lowcountry as of Monday morning.

Coastal areas could also experience 2 to 4 feet of storm surge.

The National Weather Service's Billings office said that some storms that are forecast for Monday beginning after 9 a.m. could produce heavy rain.

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The storm continued churning north through the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday and is scheduled to make landfall on the Florida Panhandle early Monday morning, reports CNN. With a subtropical storm, the strongest winds and thunderstorms are located far away from the center, even though they may be just as strong as those found in a tropical storm. Some of those storms could be severe, he said.

On the forecast track, the center of Alberto will move over the northern Gulf of Mexico Sunday night and approach the northern Gulf Coast in the warning area on Monday. It had winds of up to 60 miles per hour and was expected to increase to tropical storm conditions as it gets closer to shore.

"We've never seen one (storm) before and we're here celebrating a friend's 20th birthday", Rhumes said.

This should be a quiet period with mostly cloudy skies and isolated shower and storms. Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey declared states of emergency. The chance of precipitation during the Memorial Day holiday is 80 percent.

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