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

Thousands evacuate as Storm Alberto powers toward Florida

Thousands evacuate as Storm Alberto powers toward Florida

It is expected to reach tropical storm strength before the new estimated time of landfall Monday evening.

Subtropical Storm Alberto is getting stronger as it nears land.

Gov. Phil Bryant signed a proclamation Saturday morning declaring a state of emergency ahead of Alberto's landfall.

Subtropical Storm Alberto was moving northward through the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday.

The Air Force Reserve's Hurricane Hunters again flew out Saturday to gather data on the storm, and it has not strengthened much if at all, the center says. A storm surge watch has been discontinued west of the Florida/Alabama border.

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

Parts of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana have already seen heavy rain this week, and further deluges could leave those areas vulnerable to flash flooding and river flooding.

Winds from the storm are forecast to hit Florida's Panhandle on Sunday night.

It is not organized enough yet to be a tropical storm, and is considered subtropical. As it travels up the warm waters of the Gulf, it could well become a full tropical storm. "Rainfall amounts of 5 to 8 inches, and possibly locally up to double these amounts are possible in this area with this event", the NWS said. The tropical system became a subtropical storm Friday, the hurricane center said.

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.

The NWS said waves as high as 18 feet could pound the popular Gulf beaches in Baldwin County, Alabama, and northwestern Florida on Monday, bringing with it deadly rip currents. Winds will still be increasing into the afternoon with up to tropical storm gusts of 40 miles per hour along the coast. The higher initial impacts of surge, rain, wind, would be eastward into the western and central Florida Panhandle, and later into Escambia Co AL and Conecuh Co AL.

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