Subtropical Storm Alberto heads to the US Gulf

Alberto approaching Cuba as it begins to make turn north

The latest advisory from AlabamaWx.com has a Tropical Storm Warning issued for the west coast of the Florida peninsula from Bonita Beach to the Anclote River and for the northern Gulf Coast from the Aucilla River westward to the Mississippi/Alabama border.

The center of the storm is expected to be move close to the western tip of Cuba on Saturday afternoon, then track up the eastern Gulf of Mexico in the night through Monday.

Forecast models, which were showing very different possible scenarios earlier in the week, are now in agreement in bringing the storm north into the Gulf Coast by the latter half of the three-day weekend.

The storm on Saturday afternoon was last located about 105 km north-northwest of the western tip of Cuba and 315 km southwest of the Dry Tortugas, which is nearly 113 km west of Key West, Florida, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Flooding was possible in Florida's Miami-Dade and Monroe counties after weeks of rain, with tornadoes possible Saturday and Sunday and rip currents expected on both coasts, forecasters said. The best chance of widespread rain in North Alabama holds off until the Tuesday-Wednesday time frame when the storm's circulation is well inland bringing a more solid area of rainy, stormy and windy weather northward. Subtropical storms typically have cooler temperatures near the center, and the area of strongest winds and storms are well removed from the center of circulation. The 40 mph winds extend outward up to 140 miles to the east of the center of the storm, the Hurricane Center said. The season officially starts on June 1. Heavy rainfall, flooding and tropical winds.

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US forecasters followed suit by issuing a tropical storm watch for parts of the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle southwest of Tallahassee to the New Orleans metropolitan area.

The story changes for Monday, however, when North Carolina will begin to feel the tropical moisture pushed up from the Gulf of Mexico by Subtropical Storm Alberto.

The Manatee Public Safety Department announced Saturday afternoon that there also offshore risks due to subtropical storm Alberto.

"Tropical storm force wind gusts, 39 plus miles per hour, are possible Sunday, especially on area beaches".

The weather service said storm surge could become an issue as soon as this evening and last into Tuesday. It became a tropical storm that meandered off the cast coast of Georgia and SC. A Flood Watch will be in effect for much of the holiday weekend. Rainfall totals are forecast to reach 2 to 4 inches across most of the region with isolated amounts of 5 to 6 inches.

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