August 15, 2018

Thousands evacuate as Storm Alberto powers toward Florida

31 May 2018, 06:05 | Ross Houston

ABC News Tropical storm watch and warnings are in place for Alberto along the Gulf Coast

Tropical storm watch and warnings are in place for Alberto along the Gulf Coast

On Monday, the first storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, Alberto, made landfall near Laguna Beach, Florida, just west of Panama City, bringing with it sustained wind speeds of 45 miles per hour as it moved just 9 miles per hour up the Florida Panhandle and into Alabama.

Subtropical storm Alberto has fizzled into a subtropical depression as it hit the USA state of Alabama, but it is still expected to bring heavy rain and flash flooding even as winds dropped to 48 kilometres per hour.

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.

"Alberto will make landfall as a subtropical storm", reported AccuWeather spokesman and hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski.

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. As the center of Alberto pulls north and slightly west, the tail is forecast to swing toward South Florida.

The National Hurricane Center says the center of Alberto will move over Alabama later Monday and Tuesday.

Cuba is expected to get as much as 15 inches of rain, the hurricane center said in an advisory Saturday, and the Florida Keys and South Florida could get as many as 10 inches.

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Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center in Miami discontinued all storm surge warnings for most of the state's peninsula. A more destructive storm could develop over the next 48 hours.

The first named storm of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season made landfall Monday afternoon near Laguna Beach, Florida - just west of Panama City Beach and almost 300 miles west of Jacksonville.

The storm was about 110 miles (177 km) southeast of Destin, Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico coast as of 8 a.m. EDT (noon GMT) and was heading north at about 6 mph (10 kph), the US.

One inch or less of rain is expected to fall in the Lowcountry throughout the day on Monday.

Trivia: Although subtropical storms have always been a part of the historical record, they were not officially given names until 2002.

Some areas on Gulf Coast barrier islands remained under evacuation orders as authorities weighed the flood risks, officials said.

Unsettled weather will be moving in this evening with shower and thunderstorm chances increasing into late evening and overnight around Mid-Michigan.

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