Florida and MS launch emergency preparations ahead of Subtropical Storm Alberto

Source FOX 8

Because Alberto moved a little eastward Saturday, the Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm watch from Florida's west coast Saturday from Boca Grande to the Anclote River, and extended the watch on the northern Gulf Coast eastward, from Grand Isle, Louisiana to the Aucilla River in Florida.

Moist air will replace the drier air mass overnight as Subtropical Storm Alberto moves northeast in the Gulf of Mexico. Alberto was moving northward at about 13 miles per hour, still with maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour. A dome of high pressure is expected to slow Alberto down as it approaches the northern Gulf Coast late Sunday and early Monday. Some locations, especially southwest Florida, the Florida Keys and the Gulf Coast, will receive even heavier rain, with isolated totals of 6 to 10 inches possible.

The states of Florida and MS declared states of emergency in preparation for Alberto, while Alabama said it would order the same at 6 a.m.

Flooding was possible in Florida's Miami-Dade and Monroe counties after weeks of rain, with tornadoes possible Saturday and Sunday and rip currents expected on both coasts, forecasters said.

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

Conditions are favorable for Alberto to develop into a tropical storm since shearing winds are expected to ease by Sunday, which would concentrate thunderstorms closer to Alberto's low-pressure circulation and warm its core.

The hurricane center said Alberto could pick up speed later today and enter the Gulf tonight.

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Alberto became the year's first named storm on Friday, though the official start of hurricane season isn't until June 1.

It will then hook west before taking a northerly turn, possibly making landfall in an area between Biloxi, Mississippi and Destin, Florida.

The latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center shifts the storm farther east with a potential landfall near the Alabama-Florida state line. The storm now remains a weak tropical storm bringing heavy rain over western Cuba. The storm is about 95 miles east-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico. A Flood Watch will be in effect for much of the holiday weekend.

The government of Cuba has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio.

Because of it's poor organization and some cooler temperatures in the upper levels of the atmosphere, Alberto has been designated a subtropical storm.

The wet weather should begin to clear out by Monday evening, he said.

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