Alberto strengthens, bears down on Florida panhandle

Alberto disorganized no threat to local area	 	 	 			Alberto remains very disorganized Sunday morning

Alberto is expected to strengthen until it reaches the northern Gulf Coast, likely on Monday night.

It also triggered mandatory evacuations of some small, sparsely populated Gulf Coast barrier islands in one Florida county.

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

It also maintains a storm surge watch along the US Gulf coast from Crystal River in western Florida to the Mississippi-Alabama border. People are cautioned not to swim or play in the Gulf because the storm will kick up unsafe rip currents.

At least 340 dead people have been killed by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti and the Dominican Republic as the United States braces itself for the worst storm in a decade.

For storm information specific to your area, including possible inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office. Alberto is expected to dump 4 to 8 inches on the Florida Panhandle, 3 to 6 inches on the Florida keys and 1 to 4 inches on the rest of the state, including Tampa Bay.

At 1000 PM CDT (0300 UTC), the center of Subtropical Storm Alberto was located near latitude 28.5 North, longitude 85.8 West.

As Alberto remnants spin out across the Commonwealth Tuesday and Wednesday, expect rounds of heavy rain and even strong storms to impact the state.

Alberto strengthens, bears down on Florida panhandle

The storm is expected to make landfall early Monday morning on Florida's Panhandle. On top of that, there could be as much as $600 million in lost holiday spending as Alberto puts a damper on plans during the Memorial Day three-day weekend.

Gulfport, Miss., residents shovel sand into bags at a Harrison County Road Department sand bagging location, while preparing for Subtropical Storm Alberto to make its way through the Gulf of Mexico, Saturday, May 26, 2018. The NOAA's Climate Prediction Center's annual forecast says up to four hurricanes could form in the Atlantic this hurricane season, and that overall the intensity of this hurricane season will probably be near or above normal. The tropical storm watch along the north-central Gulf Coast has been discontinued.

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.

SURF: Swells generated by Alberto will affect the eastern and northern Gulf Coast through Tuesday.

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

Tropical storm warnings and watches have been issued for parts of the MS coast all the way to the western Gulf Coast of Florida.

The states of Florida and MS declared states of emergency in preparation for Alberto, while Alabama said it would order the same at 6 a.m.

The tail of Alberto shifted into the Bahamas last night, so the most intense flow of tropical moisture avoided South Florida Sunday. Winds of 40 mph extend outward from the center of the storm up to 150 miles.

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