Gulf Coast prepares for Alberto as heavy rain, gusty winds hit Florida

The axis for heavy rain is now in the Florida Panhandle with up to a foot of rain arriving Monday. 2 to 4 inches expected here in the Grand Strand

The axis for heavy rain is now in the Florida Panhandle with up to a foot of rain arriving Monday. 2 to 4 inches expected here in the Grand Strand

Emergency crews and law enforcement agencies in the Upstate and western North Carolina are warning people ahead of Monday when Subtropical Storm Alberto is expected to make landfall in the Gulf.

Gulf Coast residents should "take this storm seriously", the National Weather Service said on Sunday as Subtropical Storm Alberto drove north through the Gulf of Mexico, threatening heavy rains and winds to the southern coastal states.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.

A STORM SURGE WATCH is in effect for coastal Citrus county where high tide Sunday afternoon could be a couple of feet higher than the normal astronomical tide.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for an area stretching from MS to North Carolina that is home to millions of people. The area is anticipating 5 to 8 inches of rain and winds sustaining 40 miles per hour.

While the heavy rains could produce flooding, widespread flooding does not appear likely, but we are expecting 2-4 inches of rain areawide with areas of East Alabama possibly seeing up to six inches with possibly higher totals in isolated areas.

Alberto - or what remains of it - will move into the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday.

Tropical Storm Warnings now issued for coasts of Alabama and Florida Panhandle
Tropical Storm Warnings now issued for coasts of Alabama and Florida Panhandle

Forecasters warn that the storm could bring heavy rain and a risk of flooding and flash flooding to western Cuba, the Keys and South Florida through Sunday. A storm surge watch was also issued for parts of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

WIND: Tropical storm conditions will spread across the warning area overnight and continue through Monday. Its top sustained winds were 40 miles per hour (65 kph).

"On the forecast track, the center of Alberto will cross the eastern and northern Gulf of Mexico today and approach the northern Gulf Coast in the warning area tonight or Monday".

Alberto continues to be a weak and disorganized storm Sunday morning as it works its way through the eastern Gulf.

The Hurricane Center says Alberto is headed toward the Florida Panhandle.

The storm disrupted long holiday weekend plans from Pensacola in the Florida Panhandle to Miami Beach on Florida's southeastern edge.

Storms in the Gulf are closely watched because 5 percent of US natural gas and 17 percent of crude-oil production comes out of the region, according to the Energy Information Administration. As of the 5 PM advisory from the National Hurricane Center, the center of Alberto is roughly 120 miles south of Apalachicola. Both types of inland flooding - flash flooding and river flooding - are possible over the next few days, especially considering the size and depth of Alberto's moisture field.

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