Alberto expected to make landfall in Florida this afternoon

Alberto is likely to make landfall Monday between New Orleans and Destin Florida before moving into Mississippi and Alabama by Tuesday

Alberto is likely to make landfall Monday between New Orleans and Destin Florida before moving into Mississippi and Alabama by Tuesday

Alabama, Florida and MS are preparing for states of emergency as Subtropical Storm Alberto heads toward the Gulf of Mexico.

Alberto's high winds also led to concerns over the threat of storm surge and risky rip currents from the coasts of Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean.

Don't put away the rain gear as Alberto keeps moving north - thunderstorms are in the forecast every day this week, according to the National Weather Service.

Early forecasts from the Weather Prediction Center show an inch of rain falling over the next seven days across much of Upstate. And in the Tampa Bay area on the central Gulf Coast, cities offered sandbags for homeowners anxious about floods.

The state will see a shift to a more northwesterly wind flow with another front approaching from the west, so we could still see numerous rounds of showers at least through Friday. The storm, coming on the last day of the Memorial Day weekend, was expected to scramble holiday travel. Heavy rains and flash flooding over western Cuba and southern Florida will continue today. It is still a subtropical storm, meaning that it does not have all of the characteristics of a purely tropical system and is more of a hybrid cyclone.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for Wake, Chatham, Nash and Johnston counties and points south through 8 a.m. Tuesday.

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Mark Bowen, Bay County Emergency management director, said at a Sunday afternoon news conference that the concern isn't with storm surge due to the timing of landfall and the tides. Winds are up to 65 miles per hour as the storm continues northward towards the Florida panhandle.

Alberto will move further north in the Gulf Of Mexico, passing west of the peninsula of Florida.

Federal officials with the Gulf Islands National Seashore - a group of barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico - say that ahead of Alberto's arrival, "All Florida areas remain closed, including Hwy".

Hazardous storm surge warnings were in effect for portions of the Eastern Gulf Coast, including areas Alberto was not expected to pass directly through, according to the National Hurricane Center. As much as two to three inches of rain may come down east of the storm's center through Wednesday morning.

Storms in the Gulf are closely watched because 5 percent of US natural gas and 17 percent of crude-oil production comes out of the region, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Hurricane season in the Atlantic basin officially begins on June 1. Some of those storms could be severe, he said.

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