Published: Wed, May 30, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Alberto forecast: Movement of storm's tail brings less rain than expected

Alberto forecast: Movement of storm's tail brings less rain than expected

Alberto is expected to make landfall Monday in the Florida Panhandle.

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) cancelled coastal warnings and watches for the storm, which spun up days before the formal start of the hurricane season on 1 June.

Alabama Power Co. said about 20,000 homes and businesses were without electricity Tuesday, most in the Birmingham area.

Once Alberto is inland and deprived of the warm waters that fuel tropical weather systems, the storm was expected to steadily weaken.

While forecasters discontinued the tropical storm warning west of the Florida-Alabama border, they were still concerned about the storm surge and flash flooding in the Panhandle.

The remnants of Alberto will head north from the gulf coast up into the Tennessee and Ohio River valleys and then head for the Northeast late in the week.

Forecasters expect the storm to continue moving north into Canada by Thursday.

The latest maps from the National Hurricane Center showed the storm at the centre of Alabama at 4am local time on Tuesday, it will then move through across Tennessee and IN on Wednesday.

Also, it's possible Alberto's rain bands could produce the occasional tornado.

"The main concern from Alberto is flooding; not so much along the immediate coast, but inland, from the heavy rains that are coming on top of over a week of rain across the southeast", said Chuck Watson, a disaster modeler at Enki Research in Savannah, Georgia.

The storm prompted Florida, Alabama and MS to launch emergency preparations over the weekend amid expectations Alberto would reach land sometime Monday.

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.

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 unsafe rip currents through midweek, forecasters said. And in the Tampa Bay area on the central Gulf Coast, cities offered sandbags for homeowners anxious about floods.

Deadly hurricanes in the United States and the Caribbean previous year caused hundreds of billions of dollars in damage, massive power outages and devastation to hundreds of thousands of structures.

Subtropical Storm Alberto has maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour and is moving north at 9 miles per hour. One to four hurricanes could be "major" with sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour (178 kph).

However, the NHC said the season is likely to be "near or above normal".

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