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Thousands evacuate as Storm Alberto churns toward Florida

29 May 2018

Destin and Panama City Beach are within the watch area.

AccuWeather said Alberto is becoming more organized as it hovers in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and is gaining strength.

The governors of Florida, Mississippi and Alabama have declared states of emergencies ahead of the subtropical storm hitting land. The storm's remnants could reach Upstate by Wednesday night or Thursday, according to local National Weather Service offices.

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The Florida Division of Emergency Management said in a statement Sunday that a mandatory evacuation has been issued in Franklin County for all barrier islands there and those in the county living directly on the coast in mobile homes or in recreation vehicle parks.

A storm surge watch was put into effect from Suwannee River to Navarre, Fla., indicating the possibility of life-threatening inundation of storm water. Alberto, classified as a subtropical storm due to its hybrid appearance between a tropical storm - with a warm core - and a low-pressure system - with a colder, upper-level low pressure present - will move slowly toward the northern Gulf Coast on Memorial Day before eventually making landfall. A tropical storm warning is in effect for a stretch of coastline between Aucilla River in Florida's Big Bend and the Alabama-Florida border. Isolated heavy pockets of rain area also found within a band just off the west coast of the Florida peninsula up to I-10. Alberto will bring widespread heavy rain in the Panhandle of Florida and Alabama later today and tonight.

In addition to parts of the southeastern USA, the heavy rains and storm conditions could produce "life-threatening flash floods and mudslides" in Cuba, the NHC said.

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With maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour, the storm was moving north at 9 miles per hour.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially starts on Friday, but the first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season is expected to bring some more showers to the Orlando area. "Alberto might cause a couple hundred million in damage at worst when it does make landfall, and there is still flooding potential". The heaviest rain with this next episode is expected to fall across Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties Monday afternoon evening, where an additional 1 to 3 inches could further aggravate an ongoing flood risk in these areas.

Subtropical Storm Alberto is about to make Memorial Day 2018 a washout when it makes landfall.

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"The impact here will mainly be rain", Kula said. After reaching top winds of 45 mph and spending 30 hours as a tropical storm, Arlene died.

Thousands evacuate as Storm Alberto churns toward Florida