August 15, 2018

Subtropical Storm Alberto heads toward Florida Panhandle

29 May 2018, 01:51 | Ross Houston

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Alberto is predicted to move over the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday weakening further as it heads toward the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes region

With a subtropical storm, the strongest winds and thunderstorms are located far away from the center, even though they may be just as strong as those found in a tropical storm.

Forecasters have said Alberto could bring life-threatening high water to southern coastal states when it slams into the US.

Some rain is possible for Memorial Day today but the greatest chance comes Tuesday when Subtropical Storm Alberto makes a northward journey through the state.

Alberto, which spun up days before the formal start of the 2018 hurricane season, was moving north at about 13 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds near 40 miles per hour, and higher gusts, on Saturday, the NWS said. A tropical storm warning was discontinued from Florida's Anclote River to the Suwannee River.

Heavy rainfall is expected to affect western Cuba, much of the Florida peninsula and the northeastern gulf coast through the weekend.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued a state of emergency on Saturday for all 67 counties in his state.

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

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Isolated tornadoes were possible across the region on Sunday and Monday. Subtropical storms can develop into tropical storms, which in turn can strengthen into hurricanes.That tropical moisture will make its way into North Carolina Monday and Tuesday.

Storm surges are also expected to be as high as four feet in some areas.

Mark Bowen, the Bay County emergency management director, suggested people stay safe - preferably indoors. However, Wed and Thursday look to most active into the later afternoon and early evening hours, along typical convective daytime heating parameters.

It is forecast to drop as much as 30cm (12in) of rain across MS to western Georgia and to bring storm swells of about 60-120cm (2-4ft) to low-lying areas. 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. While the storm has slowed a bit, the winds have managed to intensify, which wasn't expected.

As Alberto's center heads inland - deprived of the warm waters that fuel tropical weather systems - the storm was expected to steadily weaken. A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Crystal River to Navarre Florida.

The Miami-based center said in a 5 p.m. EDT advisory that Alberto's core made landfall Monday at Laguna Beach, Florida, about 15 miles west-northwest of Panama City.

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