Subtropical Storm Alberto: Florida governor declares state of emergency ahead of storm

NHC    
   ON TRACK Tropical storm Alberto is on course to hit the US over the weekend

An area of low pressure, Invest 90L, is also being monitored for subtropical or tropical development.

The storm on Saturday afternoon was last located about 105 km north-northwest of the western tip of Cuba and 315 km southwest of the Dry Tortugas, which is nearly 113 km west of Key West, Florida, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Alberto as of 1pm Saturday remains a subtropical storm, but is forecast to transition to all tropical by the end of the day. A storm surge watch was also issued for parts of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Conditions are favorable for Alberto to develop into a tropical storm since shearing winds are expected to ease by Sunday, which would concentrate thunderstorms closer to Alberto's low-pressure circulation and warm its core.

The first named storm of Hurricane season 2018 is moving toward the U.S. Saturday and Florida Governor Rick Scott has declared an emergency in every county in his state.

The storm's sustained winds are expected to intensify to 65 miles per hour over the next three days, as it approaches the northern Gulf coast.

NHC    
     PATH The low pressure is currently forming over the formed over the Yucatan Peninsula
NHC PATH The low pressure is currently forming over the formed over the Yucatan Peninsula

The National Weather Service in Mobile has expanded a flash flood watch for southwest Alabama and said the rain could begin as soon as tonight and last through Tuesday. Winds will become gustier tomorrow, and some funnel clouds and isolated tornadoes are possible in the stronger squalls. The National Hurricane Center now puts the chance for development at 70 percent.

Storm surge flooding along the coast could reach 2-4 feet from Alberto, according to the hurricane center.

The official start of hurricane season isn't until June 1.

Parts of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana have already seen heavy rain this week, and further deluges could leave those areas vulnerable to flash flooding and river flooding.

Memorial Day is the traditional beginning of beach season, but the weather service issued warnings about unsafe currents along the Gulf Coast during the holiday period.

They're putting the chances of formation at 80 percent over the next five days.

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