Alberto takes aim at the Gulf Coast

Alberto takes aim at the Gulf Coast

Alberto takes aim at the Gulf Coast

At 11 a.m. PDT on Friday, Alberto was 60 miles south of Cozumel, Mexico, with sustained winds of 40 mph, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

The immediate Tampa Bay area could experience tropical storm-force winds by Saturday morning, forecasters said, and conditions along the coast could become risky with high winds and rip currents. Monday, Alberto is expected to approach the north-central Gulf Coast.

The NHC predicts that Alberto will produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 15 inches with isolated totals of 25 inches across the northeastern portions of the Yucatan Peninsula and western Cuba.

Several inches of rain will be possible across Central Georgia Sunday into Monday as outer rain bands move into the area. With a subtropical storm, the strongest winds and thunderstorms are located far away from the center, even though they may be just as strong as those found in a tropical storm. Hurricane season officially begins June 1, but a tropical storm does occasionally form before then, including the past three hurricane seasons.

The National Hurricane Center also added a tropical storm warning for the Dry Tortugas in the Florida Keys and a tropical storm watch for Florida's west coast from Boca Grande to the Anclote River. The threat for heavy rain will reach north into the Carolinas and Tennessee.

Tropical Storm

The National Hurricane Centre said the early development does not necessarily mean we are in for a busy hurricane season.

A storm moving slowly through the Gulf of Mexico is threatening to bring heavy rainfall, storm surges, high winds, and flash floods to the U.S. Gulf Coast this holiday weekend.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service warned residents along coastal Alabama and MS as well as the Florida Panhandle to brace for heavy rain and high winds. It's expected to stay at "tropical storm" status through the duration of its life, not strengthening into a hurricane.

"We know that many families have travel plans this Memorial Day weekend but everyone has to put safety first and keep in mind to never drive in unsafe conditions or through standing water", said Gov. Rick Scott.

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