"Alberto has maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour (105 km per hour) which is about 10 miles (16 km) shy of being a hurricane". The storm's remnants could reach Upstate by Wednesday night or Thursday, according to local National Weather Service offices.
Alberto is expected to continue chugging in a north-northeastward direction Saturday, followed by a slower north-northwestward motion on Sunday and Monday.
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.
Storms in the Gulf are closely watched because 5% of US natural gas and 17% of crude-oil production comes out of the region, according to the Energy Information Administration. Through Monday, it is expected to slowly migrate toward land, so the odds of rain with gusty winds will increase by Monday afternoon and evening. But forecasters said it will dump heavy rain on the Florida Panhandle, raising the risk of flash flooding and storm surges.
Nearly 140 damaging storm reports, including eight tornadoes, were made Sunday from the Midwest into the Rockies, where damage was reported to homes in Wyoming. The storm was moving north at about 14 miles per hour, he added, "so not real fast".
US Gulf Coast braces for Alberto battering
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the northern Gulf Coast from the Suwannee River to the Alabama-Florida border. A storm surge watch means life-threatening inundations are possible from rising water moving inland from the coast.
Authorities in Howard County, Maryland, said a 39-year-old man was missing after flash flooding from a separate storm tore through the historic downtown of Ellicott City on Sunday.
Alberto's projected storm track has shifted eastward since Friday, lessening its threat to the active oil production areas in the Gulf of Mexico.
The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season's first storm, Alberto, is set to make landfall east of Pensacola, Fla., in the early afternoon - just shy of hurricane intensity.
The National Hurricane Center dropped the lingering Tropical Storm Warning for the northern half of Longboat Key and Tampa Bay in its 5 p.m. bulletin.More news: Vegas Computer’s Score Prediction For Tonight’s Game 7
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