Subtropical Storm Alberto 'Is Gaining Some Tropical Characteristics'


Heavier rain bands from Subtropical Storm Alberto are forecast to move across the peninsula Saturday night and Sunday, and a Flood Watch continues for all of central and south Florida through Sunday evening.

Maximum sustained winds are near 65 miles per hour (100 km/h) with higher gusts.

Subtropical Storm Alberto - the first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season that starts June 1 - prompted Florida, Alabama and MS to launch emergency preparations Saturday.

Alberto's tail of moisture will still be near or over South Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday so more thunderstorms are expected, though the moisture levels in the atmosphere will begin dropping.

Subtropical Storm Alberto
Image By NOAA

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.

Flash flood watches have been posted for much of Florida, and along the Gulf Coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and southwest Georgia. The storm is expected to make landfall along the coast of the Florida panhandle sometime Monday. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the island's rain totals could reach 10 to 15 inches (25-38 centimeters) - and even 25 inches (65 centimeters) in isolated areas.

Sunday's 5 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center showed the storm tracking a little more east than expected.

Water, not wind, tends to be the deadliest factor in storms like Alberto, according to a 2014 study by Dr. Ed Rappaport of the National Weather Service.

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The hurricane centre said Sunday that a tropical storm warning was in effect from Bonita Beach, Fla., to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

Tommy Whitlock said sandbagging has become a usual event in his life since he lives next to a creek. Alberto is now located about 165 miles west of Tampa.

The water could reach two to four feet high with the deepest water expected along the immediate coast.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant said in a statement: "I ask everyone to please make final preparations to your family emergency plan, especially those that live in mobile homes and low-lying areas".

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The storm is producing winds and rains over southern Florida early Sunday.

Alberto, which spun up days before the formal start of the 2018 hurricane season, was moving north at about 13 miles per hour (20 km/h) with maximum sustained winds near 40 miles per hour, and higher gusts, on Saturday, the NWS said.

Tracey Gasper and her 6-year-old son, Chase, travelled to Biloxi Beach from Donaldsonville, La., for a day of fun in the sun with a group of friends from Baton Rouge, La.

Rain chances are expected be high for the rest of the week with some improvement by next weekend. It will come in waves with long enough breaks in between that it should be manageable, he said.

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