Alberto to impact our weather in the week ahead

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Emergency crews and law enforcement agencies in the Upstate and western North Carolina are warning people ahead of Monday when Subtropical Storm Alberto is expected to make landfall in the Gulf.

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.

The projected storm track for Alberto has shifted eastward, according to reports, lessening the threat to oil production facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, but increasing the danger to northeastern Florida coastal areas.

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Crystal River to Navarre, Florida.

Forecasters say 2 inches (5 centimeters) of rain is expected on saturated ground with isolated areas getting up to 4 inches (10 centimeters) of rain.

A Flood Watch has been issued for the entire WLRN listening area through Monday. The area is anticipating 5 to 8 inches of rain and winds sustaining 40 miles per hour.

Flash flood watches have been posted for much of Florida, and along the Gulf Coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and southwest Georgia. A gradual strengthening was expected through the weekend as it moves north.

Regardless of exact landfall location, strong tropical downpours are expected for much of the Gulf Coast on Memorial Day, with heavy rain causing flash flooding across much of the Gulf Coast region.

Water, not wind, tends to be the deadliest factor in storms like Alberto, according to a 2014 study by Dr. Ed Rappaport of the National Weather Service. The storm had top sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (65 kph) and was expected to strengthen as it moves over the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Little change in strength is expected before Alberto reaches the northern Gulf Coast. On Sunday there will likely be two areas where rain is more likely this afternoon in Central Alabama, with the earliest chance in Northwest Alabama and later in areas to the south and east. This is almost 60 miles east and about six hours sooner than the forecast issued by the National Hurricane Center on Saturday.

Subtropical Storm Alberto was moving northward through the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday. Some severe storms may be possible Tuesday, with Alberto's remnants making the closest approach from the west at that time.

Florida, Alabama and MS launched emergency preparations on Saturday.

A view of a partially flooded farm as Subtropical Storm Alberto passes by the west coast of Cuba, in Bahia Honda, Cuba, May 26, 2018. Winds will also be an issue on Monday night and Tuesday with gusts of 40 miles per hour in numerous high elevations across the region. And in the Tampa Bay area on the central Gulf Coast, cities offered sandbags for homeowners anxious about floods.

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