Alberto approaches northern Gulf of Mexico


The storm, moving slowly through the Caribbean Sea, is threatening to bring heavy rainfall, mudslides, and flash floods to parts of Mexico, Cuba, Florida and the U.S. Gulf Coast this weekend.

Alberto, the first named Atlantic storm of 2018 which spun up days before the formal start of the hurricane season, is forecast to pack maximum sustained winds near 50 miles per hour (85 kph) and dump as much as 12 inches (30 cm) of rain, slamming an area from MS to western Georgia, it said. In Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bryant said on Twitter that he has signed an emergency proclamation to make the National Guard and other resources available.

Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect along the entire Gulf Coast.

"As we continue to monitor Subtropical Storm Alberto's northward path toward Florida, it is critically important that all Florida counties have every available resource to keep families safe and prepare for the torrential rain and severe flooding this storm will bring", Scott said in a written statement.

Alberto's projected storm track has shifted eastward since Friday, lessening its threat to the active oil production areas in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Steady weakening is expected after landfall, and Alberto is forecast to become a tropical depression Monday night or Tuesday. The chance of rain will be higher area-wide on Sunday than Saturday.

The flood watch runs to 8 p.m. Sunday, during the period when Alberto is expected to pass closest to South Florida on its course toward the northern Gulf coast. 1-3 inches of storm total rain is possible. with isolated higher totals through Tuesday afternoon. He said Alberto was likely to slow down as it meets land in Florida and Alabama, but heavy tropical showers are expected all across Florida. At the moment nearly all of the showers are on the east of Alberto's centre, with the heaviest rains falling across Cuba and Florida. Scattered storms will turn more likely from mid-afternoon through the evening.

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for ... The NWS said a flash flood watch would be in effect from Saturday evening through Tuesday evening for southeastern MS, much of southern Alabama, and the western Florida Panhandle.

Alberto formed days ahead of the official start of the six-month Atlantic hurricane season on June 1.

Alberto is expected to produce heavy rainfall and flooding over western Cuba, South Florida and the Florida Keys, the National Hurricane Centre said on Sunday.