Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Wind, forward speed picks up as Alberto becomes more tropical

Wind, forward speed picks up as Alberto becomes more tropical

After hours of steady drizzle, heavy rainfall has begun lashing downtown Fort Walton Beach.

Once Alberto is inland, and deprived of the warm waters that fuel tropical weather systems, the storm was expected to steadily weaken. The Okaloosa County Department of Safety is anticipating bridge closures in the area.

A shelter is open at Davidson Middle School in Crestview at 6261 Old Bethel Road.

Alberto is forecast to make landfall this afternoon near Panama City Beach, Florida. The center of the projected path now is near the Walton-Bay county line.

If the forecast is correct, the first part of Memorial Day in South Florida will be cloudy but relatively dry, with rain chances increasing Monday afternoon and especially Monday evening - with heavy rain at times.

After making landfall near the Florida panhandle, the storm was expected to continue northwest, slowing down Monday, according to The barometric pressure was 991mb.

Alberto - the first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season that officially starts June 1 - is expected to strengthen until it reaches the northern Gulf Coast, likely on Monday night. No significant changes in strength were expected.

Winds of 40 mph extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km) from the center. A wind gust to 39 miles per hour (63 km/h) was recently observed at Apalachicola, Florida.

Alberto could bring isolated storm totals of 20 to 25 inches of rain to central Cuba and up to 12 inches in areas of the Florida panhandle into much of Alabama and western Georgia, the NHC said.

- Subtropical Storm Alberto may be headed for the Florida panhandle, but its lingering moisture and wind bands will impact Tampa Bay for the next several days, including Memorial Day.

In the Baltimore suburb of Ellicott City, a massive storm caused flash flooding on Sunday that swept through its historic Main Street area, local news video showed.

Florida, Alabama and MS declared states of emergency on Saturday as the storm threatened up to 12 inches of rain over the Memorial Day weekend and tidal surges and damaging winds, according to Patrick Burke of the weather service's Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Ryan Rogers said the storm would be "coming very close to shore" around 8 a.m. Monday and make landfall around noon.

Authorities say conditions are especially unsafe with flooding rains coming overnight and on a holiday weekend when many people have outdoor plans.

"These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions", the National Hurricane Center in Miami said in a statement. "We're doing our best to get that message out". "A secondary concern is that even relatively minimal tropical storm winds can topple trees due to saturated soils and water-heavy limbs".

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