Florida Gov. Rick Scott Declares State of Emergency As 'Severe' Weather Nears

Florida Gov. Rick Scott Declares State of Emergency As 'Severe' Weather Nears

In contrast to a tropical storm or hurricane, where the strongest winds are at the center, a subtropical storm can have the most powerful winds far from the core.

Tropical Storm Warnings continue for almost the entire Gulf Coast of Florida, and a Storm Surge Watch continues for coastal regions from the Nature Coast to Pensacola.

The National Weather Service's office in Tampa said in a briefing Saturday that winds from Alberto would increase late Saturday night, persisting during the day Sunday, then diminish later Sunday night.

About 5 to 10 inches of rain are possible along affected areas in eastern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, western Tennessee and the western Florida Panhandle.

Large cloud formations gather behind the downtown Gulfport, Miss., water tower Saturday afternoon, May 26, 2018, as Subtropical Storm Alberto slowly makes its way through the Gulf of Mexico.

It also maintains a storm surge watch along the US Gulf coast from Crystal River in western Florida to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

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Alberto has been a subtropical storm since its formation because it lacked the warm core that forms the core of tropical storms.

"The primary effects we will see from this storm in west central and southwest Florida will be heavy rainfall, isolated thunderstorms, gusty winds, and unsafe marine conditions", the weather service forecast said.

In Taylor County, there were voluntary evacuations for those in coastal zones and beach communities, mobile homes, RV parks and low-lying areas.

His Mississippi and Alabama counterparts also declared states of emergency, citing the threat of coastal and inland flooding from storm rains.

On Sunday, gusty showers began lashing parts of Florida, and authorities were warning of the possibility of flash flooding.

All 67 Florida counties were issued the emergency notice to give state and local governments enough time and resources to prepare, Florida Governor Rick Scott said in a statement.

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At 11 a.m. EDT Sunday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Alberto was about 130 miles (210 kilometers) west-southwest of Tampa, Florida, and moving north at 14 mph (22 kph). The tropical storm watch along the north-central Gulf Coast has been discontinued.

Alberto is the first named storm of 2018, and it comes days before the Atlantic hurricane season officially starts on June 1. And on Sunday night and Monday, the rainfall and flooding could spread over much of the southeast U.S. The weather had scared off the usual crowds expected for the holiday weekend.

On Friday morning, the agency announced that an area of low pressure in the Caribbean had developed into Subtropical Storm Alberto with maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour.

"We had a band of rain this morning but due to dry air wrapping in", Pickering said, "the rain engine" was shut down.

What is a tropical storm watch?

Essentially, the characteristics of a subtropical system mean it lacks the punch to quickly increase in strength and become a hurricane.

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