Thousands evacuate as Storm Alberto churns toward Florida

Thousands evacuate as Storm Alberto churns toward Florida

Thousands evacuate as Storm Alberto churns toward Florida

Subtropical Storm Alberto has come ashore on the Florida Panhandle, bringing threats of heavy rain and flash floods to the region, the National Hurricane Center said Monday.

Alberto was expected to bring heavy rain and severe wind to Florida and other parts of the Gulf Coast.

Sustained winds from the season's first named storm had dropped to 45 miles per hour before coming ashore about 4:45 p.m. - down from 65 miles per hour Sunday night.

A wave of showers rotating around Alberto will reach the area gradually, moving north along with the storm, which will be approaching the Gulf Coast later tonight as the main focus continues to be on Alberto. The rain could lead to flash floods and mudslides on the island.

Monday: We are now see a small break in the shield of rain, but bands of rain with isolated storms are beginning to move into Southeast Alabama.

As of 11 a.m. ET Saturday, parts of Cuba and the Florida Keys were under a tropical storm warning, and a tropical storm watch is in effect for parts of Florida, Georgia and Louisiana, meaning the conditions for a full storm are possible in the next 48 hours. The tropical system became a subtropical storm Friday, the National Hurricane Center said.

Lifeguards posted red flags along the white sands of Pensacola Beach, where swimming and wading were banned amid high surf and risky conditions.

A satellite image shows Alberto as it nears landfall on the Florida Panhandle and the Gulf Coast on Monday
View Slideshow A satellite image shows Alberto as it nears landfall on the Florida Panhandle and the Gulf Coast on Monday. NOAA STAR

"My boyfriend and I usually try to go to the store and stock up on lots of bottled water, and get like canned goods and things that won't go bad if our power goes out", she said.

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.

Heavy rain is in the forecast, too, for the western North Carolina mountains.

The tropical moisture being pulled northward along with Alberto is forecast to keep things a bit dreary Monday, with rain chances at 70 percent.

Alberto's heavy rains and and gusty winds remain predominantly on the right side of the storm, and therefore heavy rain and some gusty winds are expected across much of Florida Sunday. We are also tracking what will be the remnants of Subtropical Storm Alberto as they work into the northern U.S.in the middle of the week.

On Saturday, the National Hurricane Center called off the Tropical Storm Watch and Storm Surge Watch for the New Orleans area. The is also a very slight risk for some tornadoes Sunday, especially if we get some added heating. The weather had scared off the usual crowds expected for the holiday weekend.

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