Subtropical Storm Alberto heads to southern states


The Florida Panhandle is going to be battered by Subtropical Storm Alberto when it makes landfall on Monday afternoon or evening, according to the Weather Channel.

The moisture pouring northward coincides with Subtropical Storm Alberto, which approached the Florida Panhandle from the Gulf on Monday morning with sustained winds of up to 65 miles per hour.

Locally, the highest winds were reported at New Smyrna Beach Municipal Airport, with 35 mph wind gusts for several hours and sustained winds of 20-21 mph.

An EOSDIS satellite's view of subtropical storm Alberto to the south west of the Florida seen in a handout photo made available by Nasa Worldview, on May 27, 2018, by the US National Hurricane Center (NHC).

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A storm surge watch was put into effect from Crystal River to the Navarre, Fla., indicating the possibility of life-threatening inundation of storm water.

Memorial Day, the US-equivalent to today's UK's Bank Holiday Monday, is known as the unofficial start to the summer, but forecasters say Storm Alberto is a sign of an active hurricane season.

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.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said Sunday that tropical storm warnings cover the entire Florida Gulf Coast and inland portions of the Florida Panhandle as well as parts of coastal Alabama.

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Governors in Alabama and MS also declared states of emergency on Saturday. Bands of dry air wrapped up with the storm spared Central Florida much of the feared rainfall that had triggered a flood watch, and the watch was discontinued Sunday afternoon. Tropical-storm force winds will be possible in western Cuba and in the Gulf coast area where warnings are posted.

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.

Strong to severe storms will also be possible embedded in the rain on Sunday.

In the Baltimore suburb of Ellicott City, a massive storm caused flash flooding on Sunday that swept through its historic Main Street area, local news video showed. "A secondary concern is that even relatively minimal tropical storm winds can topple trees due to saturated soils and water-heavy limbs". Heavy rains are also expected in many areas, with some locations seeing between up to a foot of rain across the Florida panhandle into Alabama.

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Last year's hurricane season saw a number of major storms that caused major damage in Florida, Texas, Louisiana and Puerto Rico.