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Florida Panhandle Braces As Storm Alberto Gains New Strength

Florida Panhandle Braces As Storm Alberto Gains New Strength”

The major tourist communities of Destin and Panama City Beach are within the watch area.

In the tropics, the story has been Subtropical Storm Alberto, which makes landfall later today across the Panhandle of Florida.

The storm is moving north to the coast at about 8 miles per hour and is expected to move faster as it heads north over the next few days.

Watches were issued for storm surges - life-threatening inundations from rising coastal waters moving inland - for a stretch of coastline between Crystal River, Florida, and the mouth of the Mississippi River.

Outer rain bands from the storm have already begun affecting areas as far away as North Carolina as Alberto begins to take on the typical appearance of a tropical storm, with clouds and thunderstorms beginning to wrap counterclockwise around the center of circulation. The rain could lead to flash floods and mudslides on the island. A few brief tornadoes were possible in much of Florida and parts of Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama.

Though the Atlantic hurricane season doesn't officially start until Friday, Alberto was throwing disarray into long holiday weekend plans along the Gulf Coast.

In late May 2016, Tropical Storm Bonnie hit parts of the Southeastern United States and the Bahamas, costing more than $640,000 in damage and causing two deaths.

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Authorities in Howard County, Maryland, said a 39-year-old man was missing after flash flooding from a separate storm tore through the historic downtown of Ellicott City on Sunday.

Waters off the eastern and northern Gulf Coast are expected to be rough through Tuesday.

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 105 kilometres per hour and was expected to drop as much as 30cm of rain, slamming an area from MS to western Georgia, the Miami-based hurricane centre said.

A graphic from the National Weather Service shows Subtropical Storm Alberto's projected path as of 5 p.m. ET on May 28, 2018.

Alberto is expected to produce heavy rainfall and flooding over western Cuba, South Florida and the Florida Keys, the National Hurricane Centre said on Sunday. Inland areas would likely experience winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour from Sunday night through Monday afternoon. Florida, Alabama and MS are under states of emergency.

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season's first storm, Alberto, is set to make landfall east of Pensacola, Fla., in the early afternoon - just shy of hurricane intensity.



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