Alberto to bring widespread, heavy rain to the region

Katie Ramirez
May 29, 2018

Though the Atlantic hurricane season doesn't officially start until Friday, Alberto has become the first named storm this year, throwing disarray into long holiday weekend plans in South Florida and along Florida's Gulf Coast. But this is nature. Flooding and strong winds remain the primary threat from Alberto, but there is a marginal chance at a brief spin-up tornado in the southeast Monday night into Tuesday as the system moves onshore with banding on the northeast side of the low.

And on Sunday morning, forecasters put most of Floridas Gulf Coast, from the Lee-Collier county border to Alabama, under a tropical storm warning.

Saturday, the NHC issued tropical storm warnings that stretched from Gulf Shores, Alabama, to Ft.

Alberto was expected to bring heavy rain and severe wind to Florida and other parts of the Gulf Coast.

Alberto is forecast to make landfall this afternoon near Panama City Beach, Florida.

After moving on shore, the center of Alberto will probably move into northern Alabama by Tuesday.

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Bay County emergency management officials held a news briefing Sunday, and said that due to tides and when the storm is expected to hit, any surge isn't a major concern. Maximum winds are sustained at 45 miles per hour. 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.

Tropical Storm warnings have has been posted for parts of the northern Gulf Coast and some coastal waters along the western side of FL.

Alberto is expected to make landfall Monday in the Florida Panhandle. And in the Tampa Bay area on the central Gulf Coast, cities offered sandbags for homeowners anxious about floods. A subtropical storm means the center of circulation is exposed and the rain and thunderstorms are pushed away from the center.

A subtropical storm like Alberto has a less defined and cooler centre than a tropical storm, and its strongest winds are found farther from its centre. By Saturday morning, the storm was gathering strength as it moved north.

The last time a named storm made landfall in this area was Tropical Storm Claudette in August 2009.

However, the storm should not be taken as an indicator of how this hurricane season will play out, he said. Bands of dry air wrapped up with the storm spared Central Florida much of the feared rainfall that had triggered a flood watch, and the watch was discontinued Sunday afternoon.

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