Tropical moisture moves in as Alberto presses northward

Alicia Guzman
May 28, 2018

Beaches in Florida were largely empty ahead of Memorial Day as a slowly intensifying storm carrying brisk winds and heavy rain approached the U.S. Gulf Coast on Sunday.

US forecasters followed suit by issuing a tropical storm watch for parts of the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle southwest of Tallahassee to the New Orleans metropolitan area.

Fortunately for our friends in the Florida Panhandle, dry air has wrapped into the center of Alberto, which will likely make it hard for the storm to get too much stronger before the center comes ashore between Pensacola and Panama City Monday afternoon.

Eddy Warner loads sand bags as he waits for family members to assist and tie off and load the bags into his vehicle while preparing for Subtropical Storm Alberto to make its way through the Gulf

Residents can expect gusty wind near the coast, isolated tornados and localized flooding from heavy rainfall, the advisory says. Locally, more than 8 inches of rain is possible in parts of the Florida Panhandle, southern Alabama and southwest Georgia. On Saturday evening, a wind gust of 47 miles per hour was reported by the National Weather Service in Key West, Florida.

"We're talking eight to 12 inches of rain this weekend, and storm surges on the Gulf Coast". It's moving north at 14 miles per hour (22 kph), and has top sustained winds of 50 miles per hour (85 kph).

After that, it will bring powerful winds and heavy rains as it moves into the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday, it said.

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The hurricane center said Sunday that a tropical storm warning was in effect from Bonita Beach, Florida, to the Mississippi-Alabama border. Still that means the path of the storm will still reach landfall somewhere between Apalachicola, Panama City and Pensacola just before daybreak on Monday.

The storm now has maximum sustained winds of almost 50-miles-per-hour and is likely to become a tropical storm. Rough conditions were expected to roil the seas off the eastern and northern Gulf Coast region through Tuesday. The main threat is from heavy rain that could lead to flooding, the city said, but also high winds and storm surge could cause problems.

The storm is expected to make landfall early Monday morning on Florida's Panhandle.

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The Florida Division of Emergency Management said in a news release Sunday that a mandatory evacuation has been issued in Franklin County for all barrier islands and for anyone living directly on the coastline, in mobile homes and in RV parks. This is almost 60 miles east and about six hours sooner than the forecast issued by the National Hurricane Center on Saturday.

A man rides a bicycle down a flooded road as Subtropical Storm Alberto passes by the west coast of Cuba, in Bahia Honda, Cuba, May 26, 2018.

A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, in the indicated locations.

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Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency for the area rebuilding from a devastating flood about two years ago that killed two people and damaged dozens of buildings.

Other reports by Info About Network

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