Science

Thousands evacuate as Storm Alberto powers toward Florida

Thousands evacuate as Storm Alberto powers toward Florida

Cuba was being pounded by rain along its western coast, raising the threat of flash floods and mudslides.

Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Saturday as the state readied to face the wrath of Subtropical Storm Alberto.

It is not organized enough yet to be a tropical storm, and is considered subtropical.

The governors of Florida, Alabama and MS all declared states of emergency ahead of the storm.

In Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bryant activated the National Guard.

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, as well as tidal surges and damaging winds, according to Patrick Burke of the weather service's Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

Subtropical Storm Alberto heads to the US Gulf
Alberto Nearing Hurricane Strength

The National Weather Service said: "Swells from Alberto will create unsafe surf and rip currents along the Gulf Coast".

Landfall is most likely in the Florida Panhandle, maybe before sunrise near Apalachicola, or as late as the evening it were to take a more westward track to Pensacola. Isolated tornadoes were also possible. Water could reach up to 4 feet above ground in some areas if the peak surge occurs during high tide, the agency said on Facebook. A high surf warning was in effect through 7 p.m. Tuesday local time. The storm had top sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (65 kph). By Saturday morning, the storm was gathering strength as it moved north.

Alberto is expected to travel across the eastern Gulf of Mexico Saturday night through Monday and approach the northern part of the Gulf where it could make landfall Monday night. Subtropical storms can develop into tropical storms, which in turn can strengthen into hurricanes.

There is a 60 percent chance of rain Monday and 50 percent that night, and tropical storm conditions are possible. There were no immediate reports of emergencies.

County emergency management officials say in addition to the windy conditions, Bay County is now expected to receive approximately 8 inches of rainfall and minimal storm surge making traveling unsafe.





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