Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Alberto weakens to depression, but threat remains

Subtropical Storm Alberto has formed near Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula GETTYSubtropical Storm Alberto has formed near Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula
Sandra Phillips | 30 May, 2018, 01:19

And just as the long holiday weekend marked summer's unofficial start in the U.S., Alberto gave it the unofficial start of what forecasters recently predicted would be an active hurricane season.

The threat for strong storms and widespread heavy rain decreases for Wednesday.

Minor power outages were reported in north Florida, and the state's emergency response team started closing shelters yesterday, citing a lack of need. The chance for showers and storms will continue through Thursday and Friday. CURRENT FORECAST TRACK FROM THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER Though the storm had weakened, forecasters warned, it was capable of potentially life-threatening flash floods in the coming hours or days as the vast system spreads over Alabama and large areas of Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas.

Mayor Tony Kennon said in a phone interview Monday afternoon that the grim forecast kept Orange Beach from having the record crowds that were anticipated. Double-red flags along the white sandy beaches kept most people out of the rough waters, and some low-lying areas experienced minor flooding, officials said. While he says some people are wading along the water's edge, others are taking refuge in bars and restaurants.

The storm will bring powerful winds and heavy rains as it moves into the Tennessee Valley today and tomorrow, the hurricane center said. A storm surge watch has been posted from the river to Mexico Beach, Florida. "Some spots could see upwards of 4-5" of rain, which would lead to flash flooding issues.

The center of Subtropical Storm Alberto will likely reach the northern U.S. Gulf Coast Monday afternoon or evening.

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Alberto has 35 miles per hour sustained winds and the center is forecast to track north-northwest today and be located just to the west of Huntsville by 1 p.m. Tropical storm warnings were up for parts of the Panhandle and the Alabama coast.

The storm also forced some Memorial Day tributes to be cancelled across Florida's Panhandle. And in the Tampa Bay area on the central Gulf Coast, cities offered sandbags for homeowners anxious about floods.

Watch out for a few areas of patchy fog, mist and drizzle early.

Alberto is making its way toward Northern Michigan right now.

At its height, Alberto, the first storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, blasted sustained winds of 105km/h with gusts that packed full hurricane punches of 121km/h, said meteorologist David Roth of the National Weather Service.

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