Subtropical Storm Alberto heads to southern states

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Subtropical Storm Alberto continued its trek north-northeast overnight and is expected to make landfall in the northern Gulf Coast late Monday.

On Sunday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Alberto was still spinning in the Gulf of Mexico to the west of southern Florida and northwest of Cuba at 13 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour.

Subtropical storm Alberto is the first tropical weather system of the 2018 hurricane season and could bring heavy rain to Florida and the Gulf Coast; chief meteorologist Rick Reichmuth reports from the Fox Extreme Weather Center.

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.

Beaches in Florida were largely empty ahead of Memorial Day as a slowly intensifying storm carrying brisk winds and heavy rain approached the U.S. Gulf Coast on Sunday.

"Residents in the watch areas are encouraged not to focus on the details of the forecast track. and should focus on guidance given by their local government officials", read a message from the NWS Saturday morning.

"Combine that with the wind from the storm and I would expect tides to be running about a foot above normal, higher for Hernando County northward", Deskins said.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for.

Subtropical Storm Alberto
Image By NOAA

Forecasters at the National Weather Service in Mobile, Alabama, warned residents along coastal Alabama and MS as well as the Florida Panhandle to brace for heavy rain and high winds. The tropical system became a subtropical storm Friday, the hurricane center said. Rainfall totals are forecast to reach 2 to 4 inches across most of the region with isolated amounts of 5 to 6 inches.

Gov. Phil Bryant has signed a State of Emergency and an Executive Order authorizing the use of the Mississippi National Guard as Sub-Tropical Storm Alberto advances to the Gulf of Mexico. Alberto's heavy rains and and gusty winds remain predominantly on the right side of the storm, and therefore heavy rain and some gusty winds are expected across much of Florida Sunday.

Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect along the entire Gulf Coast. The 40 mph winds extend outward up to 140 miles to the east of the center of the storm, the Hurricane Center said.

It is expected to reach tropical storm strength before the new estimated time of landfall Monday evening.

"It was a 50-50 chance of whether to come down and we chose to chance it", Gasper said.

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

We'll see a decrease in rainy activity Sunday night into Memorial Day as we fit into the dry slot (between the outer and inner bands of a cyclone) Alberto for most of the day on Monday.

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