Alberto still strong as it approaches Gulf Coast

A Flood Watch continues for all of South Florida through 8 pm Sunday evening and the National Weather Service could extend it into Monday

The storm picked up speed throughout the day Sunday, but slowed back down Sunday night.

This graphic, created by the NWS/NCEP Weather Prediction Center, shows rainfall potential for Subtropical Storm Alberto. Swelling riverbanks, tornadoes and localized flooding are possible.

Last week, another pulse of tropical moisture that didn't rise to the level of a storm soaked the South. According to the paper, politicians at the time downplayed the storm's severity to keep tourists flocking to Florida as a vacation spot.

A tropical storm warning expired for Cuba's western Pinar del Rio province, where heavy rains could trigger flash floods and mudslides, the National Hurricane Center said.

A fisherman casts his line from the storm wall along Pascagoula Bay in Pascagoula, Miss., Sunday, May 27, 2018.

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

Flood watches have been issued for much of southern North Carolina as forecasters warn heavy rain from Subtropical Storm Alberto will spread across much of the state in the next 24 hours.

The storm was about 120 miles (190 kms) south of Apalachicola, Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico coast as of 4pm on Sunday (local time) and was expected to make landfall along the Florida Panhandle on Monday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Its top sustained winds were 40 miles per hour (65 kph). Heavy rainfall and tropical storm conditions will likely reach the northern Gulf Coast well before the arrival of the center of Alberto.

It won't be until mid-week that the rain chance dips to 40 percent, which is more typical for South Florida's rainy season.

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After that, it will bring powerful winds and heavy rains as it moves into the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday, it said. Lifeguards posted red flags along the white sands of Pensacola Beach, where swimming and wading are banned due to high surf and risky conditions.

On Sunday, gusty showers began lashing parts of Florida, and authorities were warning of the possibility of flash flooding. The center of the storm is forecasted to come over the Alabama-Florida border.

The storm's approach also triggered mandatory evacuations of some small, sparsely populated Gulf Coast barrier islands in one Florida county. Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in all 67 counties. Warnings for wind and storm surge have been issued for that area. Essentially, the characteristics of a subtropical system mean it lacks the punch to quickly increase in strength and become a hurricane.

First, a look at the radar over Florida as of 8 a.m. Monday.

"Each day this week will be like our normal pattern, with afternoon storms", Cokinos said.

In a visit to Panama City Beach yesterday, Scott said, "We have already moved some high water vehicles up to the panhandle from Fish and Wildlife". And in the Tampa Bay area on the central Gulf Coast, cities offered sandbags for homeowners anxious about floods.

Experts predict 10 to 16 named storms this year with up to nine developing into hurricanes, including as many as four major hurricanes.

The storm is expected to make landfall early Monday morning on Florida's Panhandle. Parts of Cuba could see 10 to 15 inches of rain, with isolated totals of 25 inches across western Cuba, the hurricane center said.

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