Alberto remains disorganized, tropical storm watches continue

Alberto remains disorganized, tropical storm watches continue

Gulf Coast residents should "take this storm seriously", the National Weather Service said on Sunday as Subtropical Storm Alberto drove north through the Gulf of Mexico, threatening heavy rains and winds to the southern coastal states.

The hurricane centre said Sunday that a tropical storm warning was in effect from Bonita Beach, Florida, to the Mississippi-Alabama border. The storm is expected to mostly impact South Florida and the panhandle, though the entire state could also experience swelling bodies of water, tornadoes and localized flooding. A north-northwestward to northward motion is expected Monday through Wednesday.

Parts of the Alabama and Florida coast were placed under a tropical storm warning Saturday afternoon with MS still under a watch. The tropical system became a subtropical storm Friday, the hurricane center said.

Meteorologists say Alberto is now packing sustained winds near 40 miles per hour but strengthening is expected as it moves through warmer waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Weather Service said rainfall amounts of 5 to 6 inches are expected in areas of Florida, Mississippi and Alabama, up until Tuesday.

Alberto will likely make landfall late Monday or early Tuesday somewhere between Western Florida and Coastal Louisiana. Some storms could produce some very heavy downpours across the region, but they will remain scattered so not everyone will see the rain. A subtropical storm has a less defined and cooler center than a tropical storm, and its strongest winds are found farther from its center.

A Tropical Storm watch has been issued for parts of the northern Gulf Coast of the United States from Indian Pass, Florida, westward to Grand Isle, Louisiana. There were no immediate reports of emergencies.

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Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts - and extend outward 150 miles, primarily east of the center toward Florida.

Alberto is the first named storm of 2018, and it comes days before the Atlantic hurricane season officially starts on June 1.

"The day as a whole should feature a mix of clouds and sun", said Moss.

A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the west coast of the Florida peninsula from Boca Grande to Anclote River.

It is expected to reach tropical storm strength before the new estimated time of landfall Monday evening.

An isolated tornado could be possible in the outer bands of the storm and weather and emergency management officials are urging people to pay close attention to the weather over the weekend.

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