Slowly strengthening Subtropical Storm Alberto could cause more than $1 billion in economic losses to the U.S. Gulf Coast as it tracks north, bringing a growing threat of floods, but it's had little impact on offshore energy production.
By midday on Sunday, the storm was about 240 miles (386 km) northwest of Key West, Florida, according to the US National Hurricane Centre (NHC).
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.
Tropical storm watches remain in effect for all coastal Big Bend counties and all of Franklin and Liberty county.
The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for an area stretching from MS to North Carolina that is home to millions of people.
"We're talking eight to 12 inches of rain this weekend, and storm surges on the Gulf Coast". A storm's winds need to reach 74 miles per hour to be called a hurricane.
A tropical storm watch is in effect for parts of MS and Alabama, meaning the conditions for a full storm are possible in the next 48 hours. Alberto is expected to move inland into the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday and move into the Ohio Valley on Wednesday.
Earliest reasonable arrival time of tropical storm
Heavier rain bands from Subtropical Storm Alberto are forecast to move across the peninsula Saturday night and Sunday, and a Flood Watch continues for all of central and south Florida through Sunday evening.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency for 40 counties, starting at 6 a.m. Sunday.
A subtropical storm like Alberto has a less defined and cooler center than a tropical storm, and its strongest winds are found farther from its center. "Dangerous surf and rip current conditions will likely spread northward along the eastern and northern Gulf Coast through Monday".
The storm is expected to make landfall early Monday morning on Florida's Panhandle.
Florida, Alabama and MS launched emergency preparations on Saturday. The NOAA's Climate Prediction Center's annual forecast says up to four hurricanes could form in the Atlantic this hurricane season, and that overall the intensity of this hurricane season will probably be near or above normal.
Authorities say conditions are especially unsafe with flooding rains coming overnight and on a holiday weekend when many people have outdoor plans. A storm surge watch has been discontinued west of the Florida/Alabama border.
At 11 p.m. EDT Saturday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Alberto was about 400 miles (645 kilometers) south of Apalachicola, Florida, and moving north-northeast at 13 mph (20 kph). Alberto is now located about 165 miles west of Tampa.More news: Abortion referendum decision 'tragedy of historic proportions'
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