Alberto approaching Cuba as it begins to make turn north

Alberto approaching Cuba as it begins to make turn north

As of 11 a.m. on Saturday, subtropical Storm Alberto was located near the western area of Cuba, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Alberto, now northwest of Cuba, is heading north toward the Gulf and is expected to bring days of heavy rainfall and possible flooding to the coast over the weekend.

The hurricane centre said Sunday that a tropical storm warning was in effect from Bonita Beach, Florida, to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

The weather service posted a storm surge watch from Crystal River northward with 3 to 4 feet of surge possible Sunday - 5 to 6 feet at high tide.

Residents can expect gusty wind near the coast, isolated tornados and localized flooding from heavy rainfall, the advisory says.

Regardless of its path and intensity, Alberto expected to bring heavy rains of more than 10 inches and flash flooding to western Cuba and southern Florida, the National Hurricane Center said.

Alberto is the first named storm in the Atlantic in 2018. There's always a low-end risk of severe storms or a quick spin-up tornado on the left (eastern) side of tropical systems, which will be the case for eastern Alabama.

Tropical Storm Warnings now issued for coasts of Alabama and Florida Panhandle
Tropical Storm Warnings now issued for coasts of Alabama and Florida Panhandle

The current forecast track calls for the center of Alberto to come ashore on the Florida panhandle near the Alabama state line.

Subtropical storm Alberto reformed over the Southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Saturday and may strengthen a little as it heads toward a landfall on the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico, making for a rainy Memorial Day weekend across much of the Southeast.

His Mississippi and Alabama counterparts also declared states of emergency, citing the threat of coastal and inland flooding from storm rains.

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 Center said.

A subtropical storm like Alberto has a less defined and cooler center than a tropical storm, and its strongest winds are found farther from its center. But the broad storm system is expected to bring heavy rains across the entire northern Gulf Coast starting well before landfall.

"We can not rule out the possibility of this system becoming a hurricane before it makes landfall sometime on Monday or Monday evening", according to AccuWeather meteorologist Dan Kottlowski. In Cancun, local newspapers showed scenes of some streets flooded to mid-hubcap level.

Highest maximum sustained winds remained 40 miles per hour and the barometric pressure was down a single millibar to 1005. We will still need to watch this through the next couple of days.

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