Published: Tue, May 29, 2018
Sci-tech | By Spencer Schmidt

Subtropical Storm Alberto Makes Landfall In Florida; Flash Floods Reported

Subtropical Storm Alberto Makes Landfall In Florida; Flash Floods Reported

Shelters were opened in Bay County, Florida, where Panama City is the county seat, ahead of the storm, reports. As Alberto tracks northward, we will be unsettled all week and could pick up a few more inches of rain by the time all is said and done.

The National Hurricane Center said at 8 a.m. that Alberto had winds of 65 mph and was centered about 100 miles south-southeast of Destin. The Storm Prediction Center has placed portions of north and northeast Florida under a marginal risk for severe thunderstorms and isolated tornadoes through Monday evening.

Franklin County, in the Florida Panhandle, has issued a mandatory evacuation for its barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico affecting some 4,200 housing units, while Taylor County, to the east, has a voluntary evacuation order in place for its coastal areas.

Subtropical Storm Alberto is whipping around over the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and may land on the Florida panhandle by sunrise on Memorial Day morning, according to weather experts.

The storm was about 130 miles west-southwest of Tampa, moving north at 14 mph, the hurricane center said. A tropical storm warning was discontinued from Florida's Anclote River to the Suwannee River.

Heavy rains were expected across Florida and in parts of Alabama and Georgia. 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.

Brief tornadoes are possible from northern Florida into central and southern Georgia, southern SC and southeastern Alabama.

The storm spun up days before the formal June 1 start of the hurricane season.

"The impact here will mainly be rain", Kula said.

A subtropical storm like Alberto has a less defined and cooler center than a tropical storm, and its strongest winds are found farther from its center.

In late May 2016, Tropical Storm Bonnie hit parts of the Southeastern United States and the Bahamas, costing more than $640,000 in damage and causing two deaths. As it travels up the warm waters of the Gulf, it could well become a full tropical storm.

Normally packed with vacationers over the Memorial Day weekend, beaches along the eastern U.S. Gulf Coast are largely empty as a slowly strengthening storm carrying brisk winds and heavy rain approaches. Overnight lows will be in the low 70s.

States of emergency were declared in Florida, Alabama and MS on Saturday as upwards of 15 inches of rain is forecast for the national Memorial Day weekend holiday.

Alberto is expected to produce heavy rainfall and flooding over western Cuba, South Florida and the Florida Keys, the National Hurricane Center said Sunday.

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