Alberto nears the Florida panhandle, bringing rain, gusty winds

Alberto nears the Florida panhandle, bringing rain, gusty winds

Alberto nears the Florida panhandle, bringing rain, gusty winds

The Florida Panhandle is going to be battered by Subtropical Storm Alberto when it makes landfall on Monday afternoon or evening, according to the Weather Channel. Destin and Panama City Beach are within the watch area. Acting FEMA Deputy Administrator Daniel Kaniewski said people in at-risk areas should keep tabs on the news and pay attention to alerts from local officials, ensure that they have good evacuation plans, and make sure that they have insurance that will cover flood damage. Later, it cancelled storm surge warnings for most of the Florida peninsula, saying the Panhandle remained the focus of concern. According to the National Weather Service, almost half of all flash flood fatalities are vehicle-related.

After Alberto reached 3.25 days as a named storm, Colorado State University meteorologist Philip Klotzbach said that it is "the longest-lived Atlantic named storm forming in May since Alice in 1953".

A torrential storm with winds at 65 miles per hour was expected to hit the coast of Florida some time on Memorial Day -and it's not even hurricane season yet.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Anclote River to the Mississipi-Alabama border, according to NWS. As the center of Alberto pulls north and slightly west, the tail is forecast to swing toward South Florida.

Heavy rains were expected across Florida and in parts of Alabama and Georgia. A few brief tornadoes were possible in much of Florida and parts of Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. It was expected to reach land Monday afternoon or evening as it headed north at about 8 miles per hour (13 kph).

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Subtropical Storm Alberto is making landfall near Laguna Beach.

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.

Rough conditions were whipping up big waves off the eastern and northern Gulf Coast, and authorities warned swimmers to stay out of the surf because of life-threatening swells and rip currents. Subtropical storms can develop into tropical storms, which in turn can strengthen into hurricanes. Steady weakening is expected after landfall and Alberto is forecast to become a tropical depression by Monday night or early Tuesday.

Florida Governor Rick Scott, who issued a state of emergency on Saturday in all of the state's 67 counties, said on Sunday that the Florida National Guard had 5,500 guard members ready to be deployed if needed.

- Subtropical storm Alberto is bypassing North Carolina entirely, but central and western portions will feel its indirect effects Monday in the form of heavy rains and possible flooding.

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