Storm Alberto maintains strength as it approaches Gulf Coast

Storm Alberto maintains strength as it approaches Gulf Coast

And just as Memorial Day marked summer's unofficial start in the U.S., Alberto gave it the unofficial start of what forecasters recently predicted would be an active hurricane season.

Tuesday: More rain will fall as the low pressure center of Alberto moves through Alabama.

Monday morning, Alberto was moving at about 6 mph -down from 14 mph and then 12 mph on Sunday- with maximum sustained winds of about 65 mph.

The storm's effects were being felt in South Florida, in the Keys and across the state, with 1 to 3 inches of more rain expected Monday, forecasters said, in areas already saturated from an above-normal rainfall in May.

Alberto's top winds rose to 50 miles (80 kilometers) per hour early Sunday, up from 40 earlier, the National Hurricane Center said in a 11 a.m.

"Continued weakening is forecast as Alberto moves farther inland, and the system is expected to degenerate into a remnant low by Tuesday evening", the NHC said.

The National Weather Service in Morristown (NWS) is tracking bands of possibly flood level rains to come Tuesday with the storm. Minor power outages were reported in north Florida, and the state's emergency response team started closing shelters on Monday, citing a lack of need.

"There is a high risk of flash flooding across the Florida Panhandle, much of Alabama and western Georgia through tonight", the National Hurricane Center said.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for a stretch of coastline between Aucilla River in Florida's Big Bend and the Alabama-Florida border.

Lifeguards posted red flags along the white sands of Pensacola Beach, where swimming and wading were banned.

From the Florida Panhandle across eastern and central Alabama and into western Georgia, people can expect from 4 to 8 inches of rain, with isolated cases of 12 inches of rain, the NHC said.

Alberto also disrupted Memorial Day plans in Alabama, Florida and MS as it moved into the Southeast.

"We've never seen one (storm) before and we're here celebrating a friend's 20th birthday", Rhumes said.

The two reporters who were killed by subtropical storm Alberto on Monday spoke to a local fire chief moments before they died and told him to "be careful". And in the Tampa Bay area on the central Gulf Coast, cities offered sandbags for homeowners anxious about floods. "So how often can you say you rode a storm out?"

Alberto has had quite the circuitous route of a sub-tropical was quite hard defining the center (s) at the start.and then what steered the system wound up also being a hybrid forecast. "We'll hang out and see how it goes".