Subtropical storm Alberto threatens Florida, Gulf Coast with hazardous storm surge, flooding

Alberto is likely to make landfall Monday between New Orleans and Destin Florida before moving into Mississippi and Alabama by Tuesday

Subtropical Storm Alberto has shifted east, prompting the National Hurricane Center to cancel the tropical storm and storm surge watches for New Orleans and the Louisiana border. It has dropped the tropical storm watch for west of the Pearl River.

Florida and MS are under states of emergency ahead Subtropical Storm Alberto hitting the Golf Coast.

"There is still uncertainty of where landfall will occur, which will likely be late Monday or early Tuesday morning", Director of Alabama Emergency Management Agency Brian E. Hastings said.

Maximum sustained winds are near 40 miles per hour with higher gusts.

As of 11 p.m. EDT Saturday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Alberto was about 400 miles south of Apalachicola, Fla., and moving north-northeast at 13 mph. Authorities were warning of risky surf and rip current conditions later Saturday.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service warned residents along coastal Alabama and MS as well as the Florida Panhandle to brace for heavy rain and high winds. In contrast to a tropical storm or hurricane, where the strongest winds are at the center, a subtropical storm can have the most powerful winds far from the core. The potential for heavy rainfall and isolated tornadoes are possible along the Space Coast. A flash flood watch has been posted for parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and large areas of Florida.

Up to a foot of rain will be possible for areas near the coast in Alabama and northwest Florida, where many are vacationing for the Memorial Day weekend.

Subtropical storm Alberto is the first tropical weather system of the 2018 hurricane season and could bring heavy rain to Florida and the Gulf Coast; chief meteorologist Rick Reichmuth reports from the Fox Extreme Weather Center.

Rainfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches with maximum amounts of 12 inches are possible across the Florida Keys and southern and southwestern Florida. Subtropical storms have cooler centers than tropical storms, but they can eventually develop into tropical storms and then into hurricanes. The storm now remains a weak tropical storm bringing heavy rain over western Cuba. The official National Hurricane Center forecast released Thursday says the season is likely to be near or above normal. The Weather Service office in Jacksonville said the disturbed weather could create an elevated risk of rip currents at the beach.

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