Alberto: Heavy rains expected for Central Florida

Alberto: Heavy rains expected for Central Florida

Alberto is forecast to gradually strengthen as it makes its way toward the northern Gulf Coast, before weakening to a tropical depression as it makes landfall on Monday night or Tuesday.

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.

A tropical storm warning was put into effect from the Anclote River to the Mississippi/Alabama border.

Subtropical storm Alberto continued to move northward through the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday, apparently heading toward the Florida Panhandle, l...

"If you are in an area under a storm surge watch or warning and have not heard whether or not you should evacuate, contact your local emergency management and leave today according to their instructions", Knabb said.

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.

Monday morning, Alberto was moving at about 6 mph -down from 14 mph and then 12 mph on Sunday- with maximum sustained winds of about 65 mph. Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in all 67 of Florida's counties on Sunday and the office of Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant issued a statement announcing that he had authorized the use of the national guard.

U.S. Gulf Coast states brace for subtropical storm Alberto
Last year's hurricane season saw a number of major storms that caused major damage in Florida, Texas, Louisiana and Puerto Rico. A storm surge watch is in effect along the USA gulf coast, from Crystal River to the mouth of the Mississippi River.

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

Slowly strengthening Subtropical Storm Alberto could cause more than $1 billion in economic losses to the U.S. Gulf Coast as it tracks north, bringing a growing threat of floods, but it's had little impact on offshore energy production.

Storms in the Gulf are closely watched because 5 percent of USA natural gas and 17 percent of crude-oil production comes out of the region, according to the Energy Information Administration.

It's also worth pointing out that extremely heavy rain continues to fall over Cuba from a trailing moisture plume ... this is the fifth consecutive day.

Hurricane season doesn't formally start until June 1.

Please be prepared for possible areas of flooding and loss of electricity. The storm is threatening to bring heavy rainfall, storm surges, high wind and flash flooding this holiday weekend.

As for potential impacts, with a more eastern track of the system, the heaviest rains will likely be seen in East Alabama with the strongest winds up to 35 miles per hour possible in West Alabama Monday night into early Tuesday morning.

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