Thousands evacuate as Alberto bears down on northern Gulf Coast

Thousands evacuate as Alberto bears down on northern Gulf Coast

Storm Alberto is the first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season.

A flood watch is expected for South Florida on Saturday morning as a result of Subtropical Storm Alberto.

Alberto has 35 miles per hour sustained winds and the center is forecast to track north-northwest today and be located just to the west of Huntsville by 1 p.m.

Forecasters are warning residents in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama of life-threatening surfing conditions and possible tornadoes.

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The storm, while projected to bring heavy rainfall and flooding to areas in Florida and some Gulf Coast states through Wednesday, will not become a hurricane, according to NOAA - in fact, it has already been downgraded to a subtropical depression.

As Alberto's weakening center heads inland it is being deprived of the warm waters that fuel tropical weather systems.

"Things are a little bit uncertain depending on the path Alberto takes", Carroll said. The NOAA added that there is a 75% chance that the 2018 season will see near or more than the average number of storms in the basin.

The Hurricane Center said the storm would continue moving north to north-northwest and cross the Florida Panhandle coast sometime Monday afternoon or evening. Alberto's remnants move away from us Wednesday, but we will still be in tropical air for the rest of the week; that means more locally-heavy thunderstorms through Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

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The storm also forced some Memorial Day tributes to be cancelled across Florida's Panhandle.

The mayor of Orange Beach, on Alabamas Gulf Coast, said Alberto brought rain and aggravation — and dashed hopes for record Memorial Day crowds.

For those who wish to dip their toes in the water this week, be warned: Strong breezes will produce above-normal waves, ranging from 2 to 4 feet, and unsafe rip currents through midweek, forecasters said.

Mark Bowen, Bay County Emergency management director, said at a Sunday afternoon news conference that the concern isn't with storm surge due to the timing of landfall and the tides.

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The risk of flash flooding was only marginal -5 percent- in the Lowcountry as of Monday morning. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour (100 kph) as it approached the northern Gulf of Mexico. It is forecast to make a faster northern path in the coming days. We will still see hit-and-miss showers and storms that could produce some heavier downpours.which will continue a flood threat, especially in North Carolina where the ground is saturated.

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