Subtropical Storm Alberto heads to the US Gulf

Subtropical Storm Alberto heads to the US Gulf

Florida and MS launched emergency preparations Saturday ahead of the arrival of Subtropical Storm Alberto, a slow-moving system expected to cause wet misery across the eastern U.S. Gulf Coast over the holiday weekend.

A National Hurricane Center map shows Alberto approaching the Gulf Coast on Monday, somewhere between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle. Alberto was moving northward at about 13 miles per hour, still with maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour.

Though "pretty disorganized and tough to forecast" at the time of the update, Graham predicted Alberto's "swath of clouds and rain" could reach the southern tip of Florida Sunday night and the northern Gulf Coast of Mexico at 8 a.m. Monday.

Storm Alberto has continued roiling toward parts of coastal Mexico and Cuba with rip currents and risky surf on Saturday.

Cuba is expected to get as much as 15 inches of rain, the hurricane center said in an advisory Saturday (May 26) morning, and the Florida Keys and South Florida could get as much as 10 inches.

Flash flood watches are posted for portions of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia, extending to Atlanta, with rainfall totals expected between 3 and 5 inches through Tuesday. 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.

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

He said it was not unusual for tropical systems to form outside of the official Atlantic Hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30 annually.

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For Central Florida, the biggest threat will be heavy rainfall.

The new forecast track centers landfall in the Florida panhandle.

USA forecasters followed suit by issuing a tropical storm watch for parts of the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle southwest of Tallahassee to the New Orleans metropolitan area.

Associates at the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort said a few people had backed out for the weekend, but most kept their reservations.

What is a subtropical storm?

Some dry periods may be possible in between the wet bands, said forecasters with the Weather Service office in Jacksonville. Winds of 40 mph extend outward up to 115 miles from the center.

Tropical Tidbits provides the latest on Subtropical Storm Alberto.

Just previous year, we had a named storm - Tropical Storm Arlene - east of Bermuda in April. A sudden and severe rainstorm hit the city on May 18, flooding streets in Mid-City, Treme and other areas.

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