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.
Governors in Florida, Mississippi and Alabama have declared a state of emergency ahead of Subtropical Storm Alberto as it makes its way toward the Gulf of Mexico on a path that meteorologists say could strengthen the storm.
Subtropical Storm Alberto continued to track toward the Gulf Coast on Saturday but was still a disorganized storm, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm had top sustained winds of 40 miles per hour was expected to strengthen as it moves over the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
Though "pretty disorganized and tough to forecast" at the time of the update, Graham predicted Alberto's "swath of clouds and rain" could reach the southern tip of Florida Sunday night and the northern Gulf Coast of Mexico at 8 a.m. Monday.
The storm is expected to mostly impact South Florida and the panhandle, though the entire state could also experience swelling bodies of water, tornadoes and localized flooding.
We still have a flash flood watch in effect for the New Orleans area until 7 p.m. Tuesday. 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. Essentially, the characteristics of a subtropical system mean it lacks the punch to quickly increase in strength and become a hurricane.
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The official start of hurricane season isn't until June 1.
The new location closer to Florida also implies that the center of the storm may come close enough to the west coast of the state, including the Tampa Bay area, to cause risky winds and some storm surge. Some beachfront and riverfront communities are already handing out sandbags.
Saturday could be the best day for a beach visit on Hilton Head Island this Memorial Day weekend. Along with heavy rains and high winds come rough seas and a threat of rip currents from Florida to Louisiana.
Those same conditions continued in the region again on Friday. Jordan Sawmiller of OH tells WALA-TV that he was approaching the water with caution in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Forecasters at the center in Miami issued the warnings Saturday evening. The weather had scared off the usual crowds expected for the holiday weekend. They told WALB-TV that farmers are anxious about already-soaked young plants.
Only 65 percent of the 2018 Georgia peanut crop has been planted.