Alberto expected to make landfall Monday

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

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

A tropical storm warning is NO LONGER IN EFFECT south of the Suwannee River, so the Tampa Bay area is now in the clear.

A tropical storm warning has been issued for the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Aucilla River in Florida.

A maximum gust of 33 miles per hour was reported in Flagler Beach on Sunday afternoon, said Bob Pickering, an emergency services technician with Flagler County Emergency Services. Due to recent rains, grounds over much of the area are saturated and heavy rain could cause localized flooding issues.

As it travels up the warm waters of the Gulf, it could well become a full tropical storm. A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Crystal River to Navarre Florida. These will be influenced by the remnants of what is now Subtropical Storm Alberto, our first tropical storm of the year.

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Alberto, the first named Atlantic storm of 2018 which spun up days before the formal start of the hurricane season, is forecast to pack maximum sustained winds near 50 miles per hour (85 kph) and dump as much as 12 inches (30 cm) of rain, slamming an area from MS to western Georgia, it said.

"The primary effects we will see from this storm in west central and southwest Florida will be heavy rainfall, isolated thunderstorms, gusty winds, and risky marine conditions", the weather service forecast said. Destin and Panama City Beach are within the watch area.

Florida, Alabama and MS declared states of emergency on Saturday with up to 15 inches (38 cm) of rain forecast over the Memorial Day weekend, as well as tidal surges and damaging winds, according to Patrick Burke of the weather service's Weather Prediction Centre in College Park, Maryland. "Flooding and flash flooding are possible in the southeast United States, including Florida", it said. The Florida Division of Emergency Management said in a statement Sunday that a mandatory evacuation has been issued in Franklin County for all barrier islands there and those in the county living directly on the coast in mobile homes or in recreation vehicle parks.

The center of Subtropical Storm Alberto will likely reach the northern U.S. Gulf Coast Monday afternoon or evening. A storm surge watch means life-threatening inundations are possible from rising water moving inland from the coast.

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Forecasters said Alberto has most recently taken a northwest track that would bring it over the northern Gulf of Mexico during the night and make landfall on or in the vicinity of the Florida panhandle today.

Evacuations have been ordered for Floridians in low lying areas along the Gulf Coast as Subtropical Storm Alberto heads for the Panhandle. The weather had scared off the usual crowds expected for the holiday weekend.

Alberto could come ashore early Monday, said Dan Pydynowski, a meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc.in State College, Pennsylvania.

Even though South Florida is not in the projected path of Alberto, the region is on the east side - the wettest side - of the storm. Subtropical storms can develop into tropical storms, which in turn can strengthen into hurricanes.

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