Subtropical Storm Alberto Prompts Emergency Declarations in Florida, Mississippi, Alabama

Subtropical Storm Alberto Prompts Emergency Declarations in Florida, Mississippi, Alabama

But Alberto's top winds weakened as the storm advanced, dropping to 45 miles an hour (75 km per hour) as the center of the storm made landfall near Panama City, Florida, the National Weather Service said.

Subtropical Storm Alberto has gained an early jump on the 2018 hurricane season, heading toward expected landfall sometime Monday on the northern Gulf Coast, prompting thousands to evacuate.

Alberto is expected to cause heavy rains in South Florida and the Florida Keys while a tropical storm watch is in effect for parts of MS and Alabama.

This means that tropical storm conditions (winds of 40 miles per hour sustained) are possible.

Alberto's high winds also led to concerns over the threat of storm surge and unsafe rip currents from the coasts of Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean.

Isolated tornadoes are possible across the central and northern Florida peninsula on Sunday night, it said, while Alberto was also forecast to be bring storm swells of about 2-4 feet (60-120 cm) to low-lying areas that are "likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions".

Monday: We are now see a small break in the shield of rain, but bands of rain with isolated storms are beginning to move into Southeast Alabama.

Bringing with it damaging winds, heavy rainfall, flooding, and storm surges, Alberto has already proven to be deadly, with WYFF-TV Anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer of Greenville, South Carolina being killed after a tree fell on their SUV. As the center of Alberto pulls north and slightly west, the tail is forecast to swing toward South Florida. Maximum amounts of 15 inches are possible along Alberto's track from eastern Louisiana, across much of Mississippi, Alabama, western Tennessee and the western Florida panhandle, forecasters said.

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"Most of the tropical storms die out itself then it actually turns into a low pressure system", Mott said.

STORM SURGE: Water levels along the northeast Gulf of Mexico coast are receding, and will continue to do so overnight.

In Miami, organizers called off the sea portion of the Miami Beach Air & Sea Show on Sunday because of heavy rain and rough waters.

Steady weakening of the storm is forecast as it moves inland.

Hurricane season doesn't formally start until June 1.

In Cuba, flooding damaged an oil refinery and caused crude oil to spill into Cienfuegos Bay as the remnants of Alberto continued to drench the island in heavy rain.

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.

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