Alberto forms in the Gulf, flooding rains forecast


- Forecasters have issued tropical storm and storm surge watches for parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast as Subtropical Storm Alberto approaches.

Across the Florida Panhandle, a number of advisories are in effect as the northern Gulf looks to get hit head-on by Alberto.

Heavy rains are expected in western Cuba, Florida and the northern Gulf Coast into next week.

The Gulf is particularly warm right now, so there's a slight chance Alberto could intensify to hurricane strength if it spends enough time over warm water, according to Norcross.

The storm, which by Friday morning had maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour, is expected to slow down when it reaches land, prolonging heavy rain.

It's not a true tropical system. The best chance for strong storms that could produce weak waterspouts or tornadoes in Southwest Florida will be late Saturday and Saturday night.

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Saturday will start out cloudy with scattered showers, but nothing too our of the ordinary as Alberto will still be far to our south. It's expected to gradually strengthen over the next three days. All of Florida will be on the eastern side of the storm, threatened most by heavy rainfall with 2-3 inches forecasted.

The overall track of Alberto will be important to the amount of rain that can be expected across the Carolinas.

Saturday and Sunday are less predictable. Wet weather will be most likely in the late afternoon and evening.

Alberto will likely make it number one. And if you encounter flooded areas or areas where water covers/is flowing over a roadway, turn around, don't drown! The upper-level winds shown in blue are pushing the thunderstorms off to the east and creating an environment that is not conducive for organization. Highs will return to the mid 80s this afternoon with a mix of sun and clouds.

A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, in this case within the next 24 hours.

Memorial Day in the area can expect gusty winds, rip currents and large waves.