Alberto hurls unsafe surf, heavy rains at US Gulf Coast

A flood watch is expected for South Florida on Saturday morning as a result of Subtropical Storm Alberto

Destin and Panama City Beach are within the watch area.

Classified as a subtropical storm due to its hybrid appearance between a tropical storm and a low-pressure system, having both a warm core and a colder, upper-level low pressure, Alberto is expected to dump 4 to 8 inches of rain from the Florida Panhandle inland to Alabama and western Georgia, with isolated storm totals up to 12 inches.

We dealt with some of the outer bands of the storm on Memorial Day and the remnants of Alberto will race to the north, moving into Tennessee and Kentucky heading into tomorrow. Officials there are warning of unsafe conditions.

Subtropical Storm Alberto has arrived at Orange Beach, Alabama.

At 6:00 GMT, Alberto was located near 33.3°N 87.2°W, about 105km south-southwest of Huntsville, Alabama.

Shelters were opened in Bay County, Florida, where Panama City is the county seat, ahead of the storm, WJHG.com reports.

The Tampa Bay area can expect tides 1-2 feet above normal, and above-average tides through midweek, and unsafe rip currents. "Hazardous storm surge is possible along portions of the central and eastern Gulf Coast beginning Sunday". There, almost two inches of rain fell, while some four inches fell in other areas, the Panama City News Herald reported.

NOAA officials predicted last week that there was a 75 percent chance that the 2018 hurricane season would be equal to or above average.

Alberto also disrupted Memorial Day plans in Alabama, Florida and MS as it moved into the Southeast.

The three states likely to bear the brunt of the storm have been preparing states of emergency. Bryant announced the disaster declaration on Twitter, saying that the National Guard would be made available to respond if necessary. Let's talk timing and impacts for the Alberto.

Ivey activated the state's emergency operations centre while the Alabama National Guard activated its high water evacuation teams.

In Gulfport, Mississippi, people lined up Sunday to fill 10- and 20-pound bags full of sand to use to block flooding from the storm.

"My boyfriend and I usually try to go to the store and stock up on lots of bottled water, and get like canned goods and things that won't go bad if our power goes out", she said. "We get water from other neighborhoods, and water can get up to a foot deep in some places".

Earlier Monday, Alberto rolled up big waves and tides along beaches of the northern Gulf Coast.

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.

Mayor Tony Kennon said in a phone interview Monday afternoon that the grim forecast kept Orange Beach from having the record crowds that were anticipated.

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