Tropical disturbance threatens to develop in Gulf

Alberto threats

Alberto threats

Since May 13, Leesburg has received 6.78 inches of rain - 3.51 inches above normal for May.

- Florida, Alabama and MS launched emergency preparations Saturday ahead of the arrival of Subtropical Storm Alberto, a slow-moving system expected to cause wet misery across the eastern U.S. Gulf Coast over the holiday weekend.

Alberto is forecast to make landfall somewhere along the north central Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle threatening very heavy to extreme rainfall.

At a briefing in Tallahassee, Florida authorities urged residents to take the storm seriously and to organize water, food, medicines and other preparations.

Tropical Storm Watches have been posted for Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties in South Mississippi. This storm could be the first glimpse into another terrifying hurricane season. Tropical storm warnings have been issued for parts of Florida and Alabama, saying tropical storm conditions are possible there by early Monday.

The weekend will become increasingly dependent on the evolution on the area of disturbed weather forecast to emerge into the Gulf by Saturday. Weak, brief waterspouts and tornadoes possible.

Alberto threats
Alberto threats

"This system will bring excessive rainfall to the watch area beginning Saturday evening and continuing through Tuesday evening".

Under overcast skies and occasional drizzle, several Gulfport, Mississippi, residents lined up to fill 10- and 20-pound (5- and 9-kilogram) bags with sand they will use to block any encroaching floodwater expected as a result of Alberto. Its top sustained winds were 40 miles per hour (65 kph). A gradual strengthening was expected as the storm moves north.

A storm system will be approaching the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday.

There's a 90 percent chance of a tropical or subtropical depression or storm forming near the Gulf Coast this weekend. "Although the storm now has a relatively low chance of development into a tropical system, we must take it seriously", Scott said. In Cancun, local newspapers showed scenes of some streets flooded to mid-hubcap level. Flooding in those areas is expected. Some beachfront and riverfront communities are already handing out sandbags.

Memorial Day is the traditional beginning of beach season, but the weather service issued warnings about unsafe currents along the Gulf Coast during the holiday period. Gusty winds, rip currents and large waves also are expected into Memorial Day.

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