Weather Authority: Heavy rain and storms possible Wednesday

Weather Authority: Heavy rain and storms possible Wednesday

The latest outlook from the National Hurricane Center (5 p.m. EDT Sunday) has Subtropical Storm Alberto making landfall in the western Florida panhandle near Destin on Monday afternoon (Memorial Day).

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Suwannee River in the Big Bend area of Florida to the Mississippi/Alabama border.

Alberto's high winds also led to concerns over the threat of storm surge and unsafe rip currents from the coasts of Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean.

Forecasters said Alberto could bring risky high water to southern coastal states when it douses an area from MS to western Georgia with up to 12 inches of rain and possible tornadoes.

Flash floods are still a threat, as Storm Alberto rampages up the east coast, and there is still potential for the storm to develop into a tropical hurricane.

Subtropical Storm Alberto has arrived at Orange Beach, Alabama.

Combined with the above average rainfall we've already seen so far this spring, additional rain could create flooding issues in the upcoming week along area rivers.

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Thankfully, as Alberto moves towards Panama City, it isn't expected to get any stronger.

"The basic idea is that it's going to run out of real estate for it to strengthen" by picking up energy from the warm Gulf of Mexico waters, said Dan Petersen, a forecaster with the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

Flash flooding could take place in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia and the Carolinas through Tuesday morning, according to forecasts. An elevated observing station located about 15 miles (25 km) south of Apalachicola, Florida, has recently reported sustained winds of 46 mph (74 km/h).

Persistent rain is not expected to ease until midweek, forecasters said.

The storm is expected to gain strength as it moves up the Gulf of Mexico and could cause floods in Florida and parts of the Southeast, the National Hurricane Center said.

The storm is the first storm of this year's hurricane season, coming a few day before the season officially starts on June 1. Meanwhile, areas along the Florida Panhandle endured tropical storm conditions as thunderstorms and high winds from the northern bands of the storm reached inland.

Thursday's storms look spotty but heavy: frequent lightning, heavy downpours covering small areas, and wind gusts up to 35 miles per hour. Flooding will be a concern for the Gulf Coast and as far north as IN where Flash Flood Watches have been issued.

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