Subtropical Storm Alberto expected to make landfall Monday along Florida Panhandle

Subtropical Storm Alberto expected to make landfall Monday along Florida Panhandle

Subtropical Storm Alberto expected to make landfall Monday along Florida Panhandle

The storm was about 120 miles (190 kms) south of Apalachicola, Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico coast as of 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT) and was expected to make landfall along the Florida Panhandle on Monday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for parts of Florida as the center of Subtropical Storm Alberto will likely reach the northern Gulf Coast Monday afternoon or evening.

A storm surge watch was put into effect from Suwannee River to Navarre, Fla., indicating the possibility of life-threatening inundation of storm water.

Monday morning, Alberto was moving at about 6 mph -down from 14 mph and then 12 mph on Sunday- with maximum sustained winds of about 65 mph.

This is still a developing weather situation, so pay close attention to the weather, especially over the next 48 hours. They will develop northwest of the Tennessee Valley late Thursday into early Friday and move southeast as a large "complex" of storms.

Last year's hurricane season saw a number of major storms that caused major damage in Florida, Texas, Louisiana and Puerto Rico. The heavy rain along with the saturated grounds could lead to some flash flooding.

This system is considered subtropical, because the strongest winds and heaviest rainfall is far from the center of the storm.

Jeffrey Medlin, meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service's Mobile office, warned that even after the storm passes there will still be swells that could cause unsafe rip currents. The storm had top sustained winds of 85 km/h.

"There is the risk that Alberto stalls near the coast on Monday and struggles to move inland", said AccuWeather Meteorologist Evan Duffey.

The hurricane centre said Sunday that a tropical storm warning was in effect from Bonita Beach, Florida, to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued a state of emergency on Saturday for all 67 counties in his state.

And just as the long holiday weekend marked summer's unofficial start in the U.S., Alberto gave it the unofficial start of what forecasters recently predicted would be an active hurricane season.

"We need to really be careful with that rainfall", Graham added, noting that the storm was moving slowly at some 14 miles per hour northwards. The Florida Keys and Florida peninsula could receive 10 inches of rain in some areas.

"These subtropical storms that are somewhat poorly organized, can sometimes get a mixture of dry air into their circulation, and that can suppress more widespread precipitation", Austin said.

Duffey said the storm is expected to remain relatively mild.

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