Science

States of emergency declared for Subtropical Storm Alberto

States of emergency declared for Subtropical Storm Alberto

Some five to 10 inches of rain are possible along affected areas in eastern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, western Tennessee and the western Florida Panhandle. Some areas could see up to 15 inches or rain.

Subtropical Storm Alberto is now around 85 miles south/southeast of Cozumel, Mexico.

Only the western tip of Florida's Panhandle is in the projected path of the storm but the governor urged all Florida residents to be prepared for severe weather.

Gov. Rick Scott has also declared a state of emergency ahead of inclement weather. In Florida, the warnings stretched from Bonita Beach to Anclote River.

A tropical storm watch has been posted for parts of the Gulf Coast, including New Orleans; Biloxi, Mississippi; and Mobile, Alabama. This means that the effects of the storm in the Keys and the southern peninsula should start to decrease Sunday. The National Guard soldiers will also provide support in the command and control center. River flooding is possible, along with coastal flooding and inland rainwater flooding.

While Alberto will remain well to our south and west, it will help to propel areas of very heavy rain into the region from time to time starting late Sunday and lasting into Tuesday.

The system is forecast to bring an estimated 3-6 inches of rain to Tampa Bay over the weekend, said Rodney Wynn, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Ruskin.

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At 4 p.m. Saturday the center of Subtropical Storm Alberto northwest of Cuba moving toward the north near 13 miles per hour.

The latest advisory has Alberto with winds of 40 miles per hour.

The storm system is expected to hit land at some point during the Memorial Day Weekend, most likely on Sunday. Heavy rainfall and tropical storm conditions will likely reach the northern Gulf Coast well before the arrival of the center of Alberto.

The first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season made its debut before the season officially began. There were no immediate reports of emergencies. Heavy bands of rain and localized flooding continue to be a threat. Some beachfront and riverfront communities are already handing out sandbags.

Up to a foot of rain will be possible for areas near the coast in Alabama and northwest Florida, where many are vacationing for the Memorial Day weekend.

Along with the rain, strong rip currents are expected along the Crystal Coast.

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