Science

Storm Alberto could strengthen as it blows across US Gulf

Storm Alberto could strengthen as it blows across US Gulf”

Florida, Alabama and MS declared states of emergency on Saturday with up to 15 inches (38 cm) of rain forecast over the Memorial Day weekend, as well as tidal surges and damaging winds, according to Patrick Burke of the weather service's Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

Though the center of the storm is expected to pass west of our local area, North Florida and South Georgia will still have to deal with some rain.

The NHC maintains a storm surge watch along the U.S. Gulf Coast from Crystal River in western Florida to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

Cuba is expected to get as much as 15 inches of rain, the hurricane center said in an advisory Saturday, and the Florida Keys and South Florida could get as many as 10 inches.

"We're talking eight to 12 inches of rain this weekend, and storm surges on the Gulf Coast". The storm had top sustained winds of 85 km/h.

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A tropical storm watch is in effect for parts of MS and Alabama, meaning the conditions for a full storm are possible in the next 48 hours.

Alberto is expected to move inland into the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A tropical storm warning expired for Cuba's western Pinar del Rio province, where heavy rains could trigger flash floods and mudslides, the National Hurricane Center said. A storm surge watch was also issued for parts of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Inland areas would likely experience winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour from Sunday night through Monday afternoon.

The storm now has maximum sustained winds of almost 50-miles-per-hour and is likely to become a tropical storm. "Dangerous surf and rip current conditions will likely spread northward along the eastern and northern Gulf Coast through Monday".

The Florida Panhandle has been issued with a mandatory evacuation notice, affecting some 4,200 housing units, while Taylor County, to the east has a voluntary evacuation order in place for its coastal areas.

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The Liberty County Sheriff's Office and Liberty County Emergency Management says they are making preparations to ensure they are prepared to respond to any impacts.

Subtropical Storm Alberto's moisture and resulting downpours may linger over the state through much of next week, further aggravating the flooding risk.

National Hurricane Center forecasters said that as of 11 a.m., the storm was about 130 miles (210 kilometers) southwest of Tampa.

Heavy rainfall and tropical storm conditions will likely reach the northern Gulf Coast well before the arrival of the center of Alberto.

Winds of 40 mph extend outward up to 115 miles from the center.

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