Alberto approaches Panhandle, as more rain expected in Central Florida

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US Gulf Coast braces for first named storm of the season

Tropical moisture will continue to move into the area as Alberto moves to our west. Rain is likely Monday and there will be the potential for some heavy rainfall.

Meanwhile, a Storm Surge Watch is in effect for the Suwannee River to Mexico Beach, Florida.

Florida governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for every county in the state on Saturday telling residents to "prepare for the torrential rain an severe flooding this storm will bring". Phil Bryant authorized the use of the National Guard, his office said in a statement.

Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency for the area rebuilding from a devastating flood about two years ago that killed two people and damaged dozens of buildings.

About 130 to 250 millimetres of rain are possible along affected areas in eastern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, western Tennessee and the western Florida Panhandle.

Rain falls on Clearwater Beach by Pier 60 early Sunday morning May 27, as northbound Subtropical Storm Alberto looms in the gulf to the southwest.

Jeffrey Medlin, meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service's Mobile office, warned that even after the storm moves north there will still be swells coming up from the south that could cause risky rip currents.

States of emergency were declared in Florida, Alabama and MS on Saturday as upwards of 15 inches of rain is forecast for the national Memorial Day weekend holiday.

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The National Hurricane Center describes a Storm Surge Watch as: "there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, in the indicated locations".

Florida, Alabama and MS launched emergency preparations on Saturday.

A Flash Flood Watch has been issued for Hancock, Baldwin, Jones, Monroe, Bibb, Crawford, Peach, Taylor and Macon counties until Wednesday morning.

The center of the storm is foreast to pass through the Midwest, so Upstate New York is unlikely to get flooding rains.

Alberto formed days ahead of the official start of the six-month Atlantic hurricane season on June 1. However, at least scattered showers and storms will remain possible but the coverage should be much less compared to earlier in the week.

This would mean the storm would become more compact around its centre, with the strongest winds and rain located here.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a hurricane season forecast Thursday that calls for 10 to 16 named storms, with five to nine hurricanes. The season is likely to be "near or above normal", according to the hurricane center.

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