Published: Tue, May 29, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

Thousands evacuate as Storm Alberto powers toward Florida

Thousands evacuate as Storm Alberto powers toward Florida

Subtropical Storm Alberto is expected to hit the USA northern Gulf Coast on Monday, the National Weather Service has declared.

The first named storm of this season, Alberto is expected to strengthen as it moves up the Gulf this weekend, the National Hurricane Center said, bringing heavy rains and possible floods to Florida and much of the Southeast in the coming days.

Cuba is expected to get as much as 15 inches of rain, the National Hurricane Centre said.

The first named Atlantic storm of 2018 is expected to intensify and bring wind speeds of 65 miles per hour to the Gulf Coast when it approaches over the holiday on Monday, he said. As it travels up the warm waters of the Gulf, it could well become a full tropical storm.

Florida, Alabama and MS declared states of emergency on Saturday as the storm threatened up to 12 inches of rain over the Memorial Day weekend, as well as tidal surges and damaging winds, according to Patrick Burke of the weather service's Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

At a briefing in Tallahassee, Florida authorities urged residents to take the storm seriously and to organize water, food, medicines and other preparations.

Subtropical Storm Alberto heads to the US Gulf
Thousands evacuate as Storm Alberto powers toward Florida

All 67 counties in the sunshine state were issued the notice to give state and local governments enough time to prepare. Phil Bryant authorized the use of the National Guard, his office said in a statement.

The expected impact on the Mississippi Coast has lessened, and the storm surge watch has been canceled for the three coastal counties. Authorities were warning of risky surf and rip current conditions later Saturday. Isolated tornadoes could erupt over the Florida Keys or southwestern Florida late Saturday.

Winds from the storm are forecast to hit Florida's Panhandle on Sunday night. Water could reach up to 4 feet above ground in some areas if the peak surge occurs during high tide, the agency said on Facebook.

A view of a partially flooded farm as Subtropical Storm Alberto passes by the west coast of Cuba, in Bahia Honda, Cuba, May 26, 2018. A Tropical Storm Warning means tropical storm conditions are expected with winds sustained at 39 miles per hour or greater. A gradual strengthening was expected as the storm moves north.

In our area, the primary threat from Alberto is flooding from heavy rainfall.

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