Expected rains from Alberto prompt flood watch in parts of NC

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The storm was forecast to come closest to South Florida late Saturday night and early Sunday morning - although it will remain well out in the Gulf of Mexico. Isolated areas could see as much as 15 inches.

A tropical storm warning expired for Cuba's western Pinar del Rio province, where heavy rains could trigger flash floods and mudslides, the National Hurricane Center said.

Mr Burke said: "This is jogging more to the east and will hit the Florida panhandle".

In the tropics, the story has been Subtropical Storm Alberto, which makes landfall later today across the Panhandle of Florida.

A year ago was an exceptionally busy hurricane season, with Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria devastating Puerto Rico, Houston, Texas, and the Florida Gulf Coast. "By the end of the week, the coverage or rain will be a bit less".

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Storm Alberto has continued roiling toward parts of coastal Mexico and Cuba with rip currents and risky surf on Saturday. Lifeguards posted red flags along the white sands of Pensacola Beach, where swimming and wading were banned amid high surf and risky conditions. According to the paper, politicians at the time downplayed the storm's severity to keep tourists flocking to Florida as a vacation spot.

Although the east side of the storm isn't expected to reach Broward, Miami-Dade or Palm Beach counties, the storm's outer bands are expected to bring the area heavy rain, gusts of more than 40 miles per hour, strong rip currents and the possibility of tornadoes, according to a briefing by the National Weather Service in Miami.

The NHC defines subtropical storm as a "subtropical cyclone" in which the maximum sustained wind speed - using the USA one-minute average - is 39 miles per hour or higher.

Beaches in Florida were largely empty ahead of Memorial Day as the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, Subtropical Storm Alberto, approached the northern Gulf Coast carrying brisk wind and heavy rain.

Heavy downpours were expected to begin lashing parts of Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Sunday.

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Heavy rain from Monday through Wednesday poses a threat of localized flash flooding in the Triad area, the National Weather Service said.

Subtropical Storm Alberto has gained an early jump on the 2018 hurricane season, heading toward expected landfall sometime Monday on the northern Gulf Coast.

A storm surge watch has been extended from Crystal River to the Mississippi/Alabama border as the storm could cause tides to run 2-4 feet above normal.

The new location closer to Florida also implies that the center of the storm may come close enough to the west coast of the state, including the Tampa Bay area, to cause risky winds and some storm surge. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. This is almost 60 miles east and about six hours sooner than the forecast issued by the National Hurricane Center one day ago, but well within the margin for error two days out.

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