Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

Subtropical Storm Alberto heads to southern states

Subtropical Storm Alberto heads to southern states

Beaches in Florida were largely empty ahead of Memorial Day as a slowly intensifying storm carrying brisk winds and heavy rain approached the U.S. Gulf Coast on Sunday.

US National Weather Service (NWS ) on Sunday released warnings that people living along coastal regions in Florida, Alabama and MS should "take this storm seriously", as up to a foot of rain is expected to flood low lying areas alongside high winds over the popular holiday weekend.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant authorised the use of the National Guard, his office said in a statement.

Subtropical Storm Alberto continued to track toward the Gulf Coast on Sunday.

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.

At 11 p.m. EDT Sunday, Alberto was centered about 205 miles (330 kilometers) west of Tampa and had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (100 kph) - up from 50 mph (85 kph) only hours earlier. A gradual strengthening was expected as the storm moves north.

As Alberto remnants spin out across the Commonwealth Tuesday and Wednesday, expect rounds of heavy rain and even strong storms to impact the state. According to the paper, politicians at the time downplayed the storm's severity to keep tourists flocking to Florida as a vacation spot.

The NWS said waves as high as 5.5 metres could pound the popular Gulf beaches in Baldwin County, Ala., and northwestern Florida on Monday. Scattered storms will turn more likely from mid-afternoon through the evening.

Chuck Watson, a disaster modeler at Enki Research in Savannah said the main concern from the subtropical storm is flooding.

The chance for showers and thunderstorms on Sunday is a slight 20 percent, with most of the rain activity staying to the north of the Triangle and arriving in the late afternoon, according to Moss.

On Saturday, the National Hurricane Center called off the Tropical Storm Watch and Storm Surge Watch for the New Orleans area.

Alberto is the first major storm of the 2018 hurricane season, which doesn't officially begin until June 1 and runs through the fall. An additional 1-4 inches of rain will be possible, which could result in minor flooding.

Florida residents are also preparing for a series of isolated tornadoes in northern and central parts of the stat, before Alberto is set tip rip apart low-lying areas that are "likely to cause life-threatening current conditions".

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