Subtropical Depression Alberto Could Bring Big Rain Totals To W. Pa.

Hurricane season 2018 Tropical season Alberto damage to cost 1 billion

Hurricane season 2018 Tropical season Alberto damage to cost 1 billion

Thousands have been evacuated from the northern Gulf of Mexico coast of Florida as it braces for subtropical storm Alberto.

Alberto is the first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season - a season that doesn't formally begin until June 1, the National Hurricane Center says.

Lifeguards posted red flags along the white sands of Pensacola Beach, where swimming and wading were banned amid high surf and risky conditions. "Alberto might cause a couple hundred million in damage at worst when it does make landfall, and there is still flooding potential".

The Miami-based center said in a 5 p.m. EDT advisory that Alberto's core made landfall Monday at Laguna Beach, Florida, about 15 miles (20 kilometers) west-northwest of Panama City. With maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour (72 kph), Alberto was moving north at 9 miles per hour (14 kph).

The National Weather Service office in Mobile is calling for a 100 percent chance of rain tonight with possible flooding rains as thunderstorms continue to move through the area. The storm's top winds fell to 60 mph and it's expected to weaken further after it moves over land, gradually falling apart over the next 36 hours until it's completely swallowed up by another weather system over Canada late this week.

The storm was moving north at about 8mph (13km/h), the National Hurricane Center said.

The storm's center is expected to move over Alabama on Monday night and Tuesday, the NHC said. A tropical storm warning remained in effect stretching from Florida's Suwannee River to the border of Alabama and Mississippi. He said Alberto's biggest threat will be its heavy rains, with forecasts of anywhere from 4 to 12 inches of rain in some areas.

For those who wish to dip their toes in the water this week, be warned: Strong breezes will produce above-normal waves, ranging from 2 to 4 feet, and risky rip currents through midweek, forecasters said.

Janet Rhumes said her group of friends from Kansas had been planning their Memorial Day weekend on Navarre Beach since October, and no tropical storm could deter them.

The storm's approach also triggered mandatory evacuations of some small, sparsely populated Gulf Coast barrier islands in one Florida county. It is forecast to make a faster northern path in the coming days. The way it looks now the remnants of Alberto will produce quite a few clouds, lots of humidity and more numerous showers and storms on Friday with some tropical downpours that MAY lead to some localized flooding.

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