Florida.- Forecasters say Subtropical Storm Alberto, the first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season, has recently turned more north-northwestward with no change in strength as it lumbers toward the northern Gulf Coast.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Alberto was centered at 8 p.m. EDT Sunday afternoon about 165 miles (265 kilometers) west of Tampa and had top sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph). It says Alberto is on a forecast track to enter the northern Gulf of Mexico during the nighttime hours and approach the northern Gulf Coast in the area of the Florida Panhandle sometime Monday.
Heavy rain and tropical storm conditions are likely to reach the northern Gulf Coast well ahead of the center of the large storm system.
The center also has discontinued all storm surge warnings for most of the state’s peninsula. It says the focus and concern remain in the Panhandle where the storm is expected to make landfall amid forecasts of heavy rainfall.
Beaches in Florida were largely empty ahead of Memorial Day as the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, approached the northern Gulf Coast carrying brisk winds and heavy rain.