Alabama, Florida and MS have issued states of emergency ahead of Subtropical Storm Alberto. On Sunday morning, the storm was located about 150 miles (240 km) northwest of the Dry Tortugas, which is nearly 70 miles (113 km) west of Key West, Florida, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC). But the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Sunday morning that "it is gaining some more tropical characteristics".
WIND: Tropical storm conditions will spread northward in the warning area along the west coast of Florida today and will reach the warning area along the northern Gulf Coast by this evening.
Officials in one Florida Panhandle county say that Subtropical Storm Alberto will likely dump rain on the region, but they're less concerned about storm surge.
Cuba is expected to get as much as 15 inches of rain, the hurricane center said in an advisory Saturday, and the Florida Keys and South Florida could get as many as 10 inches. This has prompted the National Hurricane Center to issue a Tropical Storm Watch for much of the Greater Tampa Bay Area. A storm's winds need to reach 74 miles per hour to be called a hurricane.
Parts of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana have already seen heavy rain this week, and further deluges could leave those areas vulnerable to flash flooding and river flooding.
Alberto won't totally wash out our Memorial Day here in the Tennessee Valley.
Alberto, the first named Atlantic storm of 2018, which spun up days before the formal June 1 start of the hurricane season, was packing maximum sustained winds near 65 miles per hour (105 kph) and was expected to drop as much as 12 inches (30 cm) of rain, slamming an area from MS to western Georgia, the Miami-based hurricane center said.
Image By NOAA
All 67 Florida counties were issued the emergency notice to give state and local governments enough time and resources to prepare, Florida Governor Rick Scott said in a statement.
Showers will begin spreading in from south to north late Sunday night into Monday. The storm had top sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (65 kph). Gradual strengthening is forecast until the system reaches the northern Gulf Coast.
The Florida Panhandle has been issued with a mandatory evacuation notice, affecting some 4,200 housing units, while Taylor County, to the east has a voluntary evacuation order in place for its coastal areas.
Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Centre Ken Graham said in a video briefing that downpours caused some street flooding.
Rain chances are expected be high for the rest of the week with some improvement by next weekend.
Storms in the Gulf are closely watched because 5 percent of USA natural gas and 17 percent of crude-oil production comes out of the region, according to the Energy Information Administration.