Subtropical Storm Alberto within 50 miles of Florida

AccuWeather said Alberto is becoming more organized as it hovers in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and is gaining strength. EDT and moving to the northwest at 10 miles per hour (17 kph).

Though the storm has passed Central Florida without making landfall, rain is expected in the area on Memorial Day, according to the National Weather Service. Through Monday, it is expected to slowly migrate toward land, so the odds of rain with gusty winds will increase by Monday afternoon and evening.

"Alberto has maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour (105 km per hour) which is about 10 miles (16 km) shy of being a hurricane".

As tropical storm Alberto plows through the Gulf of Mexico, it appears to have set a course north through Alabama and Tennessee. A tropical storm warning was discontinued from Florida's Anclote River to the Suwannee River. When those showers and storms pop up, they will contain locally heavy rain.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency for 40 counties that will be impacted most by Alberto.

In Taylor County, there are voluntary evacuations for those in coastal zones and beach communities, mobile homes, RV parks and low-lying areas. A few brief tornadoes were possible in much of Florida and parts of Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama.

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The storm's approach triggered mandatory evacuations of some small, sparsely populated Gulf Coast barrier islands in one Florida county. It is still a subtropical storm, meaning that it does not have all of the characteristics of a purely tropical system and is more of a hybrid cyclone.

"These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions", the National Hurricane Center in Miami said in a statement.

Outer rain bands are also forecast to drench inland areas from Tallahassee to Crestview, where a Flash Flood Watch continues through Tuesday morning. However, Wed and Thursday look to most active into the later afternoon and early evening hours, along typical convective daytime heating parameters. 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. The drier air is weakening some of the storms bubbling up near the center of Alberto.

Duffey said the storm is expected to remain relatively mild.

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season's first storm, Alberto, is set to make landfall east of Pensacola, Fla., in the early afternoon - just shy of hurricane intensity.


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