Alberto moves inland and heads north tonight and Tuesday

Damaged caused by the Great Storm in Britain 1987

Alberto moves inland and heads north tonight and Tuesday

The moisture pouring northward coincides with Subtropical Storm Alberto, which approached the Florida Panhandle from the Gulf on Monday morning with sustained winds of up to 65 miles per hour.

In its 7 p.m. advisory the National Hurricane Center said the center of Alberto was about 15 miles north of DeFuniak Springs and was moving north at 10 mph. But forecasters said it will dump heavy rain on parts of the Florida Panhandle, Alabama and Georgia, raising the risk of flash flooding.

"From an economic standpoint most of the damage is already done, probably $600 or $700 million worth of lost economic activity due to rain, warnings and preparations", said Chuck Watson, a disaster modeler at Enki Research in Savannah, Georgia.

Atlantic hurricane season is officially underway, with the first named storm, Alberto, forming even before the official June 1 kick off of Hurricane Season.

Forecasters warned heavy rain, flash flooding and risky surf posed the biggest threats as Alberto's ragged core made landfall near Laguna Beach in the Florida Panhandle.

"North Carolina needs to take Alberto seriously". On the forecast track, the center of Alberto will move over Alabama later tonight and early Tuesday. Isolated deluges of 30 centimetres also are possible.

Alberto will probably weaken through the day as it moves northward into the Tennessee Valley and then to the Ohio Valley, finally withering into a "remnant low pressure storm" by this evening, with winds at around 40km/h, Mr Roth said.

Alberto disrupted long Memorial Day holiday weekend plans along from Pensacola in the Florida Panhandle to Miami Beach and other areas along the northern Gulf Coast, forced beachgoers out of the the water and prompted evacuations of low-lying areas.

Alberto is expected to drop 4 to 6 inches of rain along the Gulf Coast, with some places getting as much as a foot. Storm watches and warnings were discontinued for coastal regions, but those inland remained in effect.

There will be more clouds working in later Wednesday night into Thursday with a few scattered showers and a storm or two possible come Thursday. "Strong squalls off and on" had kept her inside, she said. This could cause flooding and flash flooding, it stated. It is forecast to make a faster northern path in the coming days. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

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