January 20, 2019

Storm Alberto churns toward Florida, Alabama and Mississippi

28 May 2018, 01:16 | Dale Webster

SUNDAY UPDATE: Alberto’s Impacts to the Tennessee Valley

Flood watch in effect for South Florida as Subtropical Storm Alberto heads north

Normally packed with vacationers over the Memorial Day weekend, beaches along the eastern U.S. Gulf Coast were largely empty Sunday as a slowly intensifying storm carrying brisk winds and heavy rain approached.

The storm prompted Florida, Alabama and MS to launch emergency preparations over the weekend amid expectations Alberto would reach land sometime Monday.

Rick Scott issued an emergency warning early yesterday advising his fellow Floridians to prepare for torrential rain and severe flooding, reminding residents that the storm's track can change without notice. The office of Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant issued a statement announcing that he had authorized the use of the national guard. But the broad storm system is expected to bring heavy rains across the entire northern Gulf Coast starting well before landfall.

A tropical storm warning expired for Cuba's western Pinar del Rio province, where heavy rains could trigger flash floods and mudslides, the National Hurricane Centre said.

At 5am EDT Saturday morning, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Alberto was moving north-northeastward toward the Yucatan Channel and was centered about 95 miles (105 kilometers) southeast of Cozumel, Mexico.

A more widespread area of rain and embedded storms will arrive early Tuesday and last all day before Alberto moves north of Alabama by Wednesday. It now appears there will be no further threat of significant rainfall or flooding from the storm.

A storm surge watch was put into effect from Crystal River to the Navarre, Fla., indicating the possibility of life-threatening inundation of storm water.

The NHC also announced cancellations of a tropical storm warning for the west coast of Florida south of the Anclote River and a storm surge watch along the northern Gulf Coast west of Navarre.

All eyes are on the Gulf of Mexico as Alberto tracks northward toward the Florida panhandle. A flood watch remains in effect. The is also a very slight risk for some tornadoes Sunday, especially if we get some added heating.

Sunday afternoon and evening are expected to bring heavy rain and winds between about 15 and 18 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service in Charleston.

One of the four storms could turn into major hurricanes. "We've had named storms only a week away from the start of hurricane season before". There is now only a 30 percent chance of rain Sunday.

Heavy downpours were expected to begin lashing parts of Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Sunday.

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