Florida gov. declares state of emergency ahead of Subtropical Storm Alberto

Cristina Cross
May 28, 2018

The National Hurricane Center warns that heavy rain and flooding is expected on the island of Cuba, as well as southern Florida and the Florida Keys.

However the weather service added a large asterisk: "Any change in the track of Alberto will make significant changes in the threat areas, and local forecasts and outlooks should be monitored closely for the latest information".

"These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions", the National Hurricane Center said in a statement. In contrast to a tropical storm or hurricane, where the strongest winds are at the center, a subtropical storm can have the most powerful winds far from the core.

"We're talking eight to 12 inches of rain this weekend, and storm surges on the Gulf Coast". Just because it's "nice and sunny" after the storm passes, Medlin said, there's still a risk for swimmers.

Tropical storm watches remain in effect for all coastal Big Bend counties and all of Franklin and Liberty county.

The storm was about 105 miles (165 km) south of Apalachicola, Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico coast as of 8 p.m. EDT (0000 GMT) and was expected to make landfall along the Florida Panhandle on Monday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. By Saturday morning, the storm was gathering strength as it moved north.

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On Friday, Exxon Mobil Corp. pulled non-essential personnel from its Lena oil production platform and Royal Dutch Shell Plc shut in its Ram Powell hub, but most other energy companies are leaving offshore crews in place while they watch 2018's first Atlantic storm.

Tuesday into Wednesday is now looking like our best chance to see direct effects from Subtropical Storm Alberto. By Monday night, it might be a little bit drier, with the chance of rain dropping to 60 percent, according to the National Weather Service in Miami.

Heavy downpours are expected to begin lashing parts of those states on Sunday.

The Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast are under a tropical storm warning as Alberto approaches the northern part of the Gulf of Mexico.

The governors of Florida, Alabama and MS declared states of emergency Saturday. With a tropical storm, the maximum winds and strongest thunderstorms sit close to the center of the storm. The NWS said a flash flood watch would be in effect from Saturday evening through Tuesday evening for southeastern MS, much of southern Alabama, and the western Florida Panhandle.

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