Storm Alberto weakens as it makes landfall on Florida Panhandle

Storm Alberto weakens as it makes landfall on Florida Panhandle

Storm Alberto weakens as it makes landfall on Florida Panhandle

Subtropical Storm Alberto headed toward anticipated landfall sometime Monday on the northern Gulf Coast, where white sandy beaches emptied of their usual Memorial Day crowds.

"However, heavy rainfall from Alberto will spread into northern Georgia, the western Carolinas, Tennessee on Tuesday, increasing the threat of flash flooding in those areas".

The Hurricane Center says a tropical storm warning is in effect from the Suwannee River in Florida to the Mississippi-Alabama state line. Meteorologists are calling it a "subtropical storm", not to be confused with the just plain tropical storms we know and dread. The storm's top winds fell to 60 mph and it's expected to weaken further after it moves over land, gradually falling apart over the next 36 hours until it's completely swallowed up by another weather system over Canada late this week.

The Accuweather spokesman observed that the weather event's classification, while not a pure tropical system, nonetheless is risky, and urged residents to take action to prepare their homes.

Shortly before 5 p.m. ET, Alberto was moving north at near 9 miles per hour, the NHC said. Very little change in intensity or forward motion is expected by the time it makes landfall.

Elsewhere, Florida's Division of Emergency Management said, about 2,600 customers were without power in northwestern Florida on Monday morning. "We'll hang out and see how it goes". A storm surge watch means life-threatening inundations are possible from rising water moving inland from the coast.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued a declaration for all 67 counties in his state.

Strong storms possible Thursday and Friday: As Alberto moves away, a different type of summertime weather pattern kicks in; that could deliver some intense summertime storms on Thursday and Friday. In Gulf County, T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park began evacuations Sunday morning.

Scattered showers and storms with torrential downpours will continue this evening with imminent flash flood concerns in parts of western NC.

"So far we've seen a lot of wind and the ocean is really high, covering up the entire beach", Powell said.

It is the first named storm of the season, with 21 other names still to be used, including Beryl, Ernesto, Kirk, Nadine and Rafael.

After the exceptionally destructive season last year, forecasters said last week that the possibility of a weak El Niño, along with near-average sea surface temperatures, suggest that this year's hurricane season will be normal or only slightly more active than average. The storm spun up days before the formal June 1 start of the hurricane season.

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