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Subtropical Storm Alberto heads toward Florida Panhandle

Subtropical Storm Alberto heads toward Florida Panhandle

Subtropical Storm Alberto heads toward Florida Panhandle

Mayor Tony Kennon said that Alberto has kept tourists away from the town during what could have been its busiest weekend, although a few courageous souls showed up.

Alberto, the first named Atlantic storm of 2018, is expected to reach land on the Gulf Coast on Monday afternoon or evening, the center said.

A storm surge watch has been posted from the river to Mexico Beach, Florida.

Up to 25 centimetres of rain is expected to be dumped along affected areas in eastern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, western Tennessee and the western Florida Panhandle.

In Taylor County, there are voluntary evacuations for those in coastal zones and beach communities, mobile homes, RV parks and low-lying areas.

Brief tornadoes are possible from northern Florida into central and southern Georgia, southern SC and southeastern Alabama.

The storm's approach triggered mandatory evacuations of some small, sparsely populated Gulf Coast barrier islands in one Florida county. The most intense rain and thunderstorm activity with the storm is located directly north of the center. People are cautioned not to swim or play in the Gulf because the storm will kick up unsafe rip currents.

In addition to parts of the southeastern US, the heavy rains and storm conditions could produce "life-threatening flash floods and mudslides" in Cuba, the NHC said.

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Even hotter temperatures are forecast for some areas Monday - with more records possible. Parts of Florida, Georgia and Alabama could get from 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) with some areas getting as much as a foot of rain. Many spent the holiday weekend filling sandbags while businesses closed down as the storm moved in.

The storm was moving north at about 8mph (13km/h), the National Hurricane Center said. "So how often can you say you rode a storm out?" Any additional dry air will continue to weaken rain near Alberto's center and rain bands associated with the storm.

Meanwhile, a Storm Surge Watch is in effect for the Suwannee River to Mexico Beach, Florida.

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

National Hurricane Center forecasters said that as of 11 a.m., the storm was about 130 miles (210 kilometers) southwest of Tampa. The storm was moving north at about 14 miles per hour, he added, "so not real fast".

Meteorologists expect a turn toward the north-northwest at a slower speed into Sunday. The weather service cautioned, though, that the storm is several days away and there remains a great deal of uncertainty about how it will affect the Northeast.

Gusty showers began lashing parts of Florida on Sunday, and authorities were warning of the possibility of flash flooding.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant authorized the use of the National Guard and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued declared that a state of emergency for 40 counties to begin at 6 a.m. Sunday.

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