Expected rains from Alberto prompt flood watch in parts of NC

A general view shows an empty beach as subtropical storm Alberto approaches Cancun Mexico

A general view shows an empty beach as subtropical storm Alberto approaches Cancun Mexico

Subtropical Storm Alberto continues spinning out at sea, but this tropical system's outer rainbands have been impacting Middle Georgia since Sunday afternoon.

Alberto, the first named Atlantic storm of 2018 which spun up days before the formal start of the hurricane season, is forecast to pack maximum sustained winds near 50 miles per hour (85 kph) and dump as much as 12 inches (30 cm) of rain, slamming an area from MS to western Georgia, it said.

"Alberto is expected to produce heavy rainfall with a risk of flooding and flash flooding over western Cuba, the Florida Keys and South Florida [Sunday]", the National Hurricane Center warned.

At 1000 AM CDT (1500 UTC), the center of Subtropical Storm Alberto was located near latitude 29.5 North, longitude 85.8 West. The governors of Florida, Alabama and MS all declared states of emergency ahead of the storm.

The National Weather Service said rainfall amounts of 5 to 6 inches are expected in areas of Florida, Mississippi and Alabama, up until Tuesday. Isolated areas could see as much as 15 inches.

Under overcast skies and occasional drizzle, several Gulfport, Miss., residents lined up to fill five- and nine-kilogram bags with sand they will use to block any encroaching floodwater expected as a result of Alberto.

Subtropical Storm Alberto is a little better organized this morning and winds are at 45 miles per hour. Because of the potential for higher rain totals over the next two days, a flood watch continues.

Heavy rain has already fallen in southern states, and flood and flash-flood watches span the region, reaching as far north as North Carolina and Tennessee, the National Weather Service said.

About 400 customers along Florida's Tampa Bay and in the Panhandle were without power Monday morning, according to Florida's Division of Emergency Management.

Though the Atlantic hurricane season doesn't officially start until Friday, Alberto has become the first named storm this year, throwing disarray into long holiday weekend plans up and down Florida's Gulf Coast. Little if any strengthening is expected before Alberto reaches the northern Gulf Coast.

Subtropical storm Alberto continued to move northward through the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday, apparently heading toward the Florida Panhandle, l...

The heaviest rain will fall along the Gulf Coast where more than a half a foot of rain could accumulate.

The latter will have the better chance of seeing water rise as at that time we will have a more on shore wind component.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...

The last time a named storm made landfall in this area was Tropical Storm Claudette in August 2009.

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