US States Declare Emergency Ahead of Subtropical Storm

Subtropical Storm Alberto continues to churn north through the Gulf of Mexico

Subtropical Storm Alberto continues to churn north through the Gulf of Mexico

Forecasters cautioned that heavy rain and tropical storm conditions could reach the northern Gulf Coast well ahead of the center of Alberto making landfall.

The storm's top wind speed was 50 miles per hour as of Sunday morning, the report said.

Subtropical Storm Alberto is expected to make landfall Monday in the Florida panhandle. Isolated areas could see as much as 15 inches.

Alberto is expected to produce heavy rainfall and flooding over western Cuba, South Florida and the Florida Keys, the National Hurricane Center said Sunday. The storm has been rather disorganized for most of its life over water (thus the "subtropical" classification), but has recently become more tropical in nature.

Authorities say conditions are especially unsafe with flooding rains coming overnight and on a holiday weekend when many people have outdoor plans. Later, it cancelled storm surge warnings for most of the Florida peninsula, saying the Panhandle remained the focus of concern.

Alberto got an early jump on the 2018 hurricane season, which doesn't officially start until June 1.

On Thursday, the National Hurricane Center caused eyebrows to raise when it estimated a 90 percent chance that a subtropical or tropical cyclone would form in the central or eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend.

Alberto's projected storm track has shifted eastward since Friday, lessening its threat to the active oil production areas in the Gulf of Mexico. Beach officials will also fly the red flag, indicating a high rip current risk. According to the paper, politicians at the time downplayed the storm's severity to keep tourists flocking to Florida as a vacation spot.

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We're all waking up to the impacts of Alberto: dreary rain, gusty wind, the reluctant change of Memorial Day plans.

Expect potentially strong to severe storms Monday afternoon and into Monday evening with training bands of rain that could lead to localized flooding.

A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible for the area and time frame described.

The National Hurricane Center says that Alberto now has top sustained winds of 65 miles per hour (100 kph) but that little further strengthening is expected before Alberto reaches the Gulf Coast sometime Monday.

The new location closer to Florida also implies that the center of the storm may come close enough to the west coast of the state, including the Tampa Bay area, to cause unsafe winds and some storm surge.

Subtropical Storm Alberto had a burst of strength as it closes on Florida's Panhandle, where it should come ashore early Monday, and is spreading heavy rains across the U.S. South, potentially causing more than $1 billion in economic losses.

A subtropical storm has a less defined and cooler center than a tropical storm, and its strongest winds are found farther from the center.

One of the four storms could turn into major hurricanes. Forecasts for disorganized systems without a well-defined center are always less certain.

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