Subtropical storm Alberto, slowly drifts away from the Yucatan Peninsula and strengthens as it draws closer to the Gulf Coast of the United States, set off new tropical storm warnings stretching just north of Naples up past the tip of Florida’s Panhandle on Sunday morning.
Forecasters said Alberto was moving north near the eastern Gulf of Mexico at 13 mph and that the storm would approach the northern Gulf Coast by Sunday night or Monday.
In its advisory, the National Hurricane Center said the storm’s maximum sustained winds were 50 miles per hour, slightly faster than the 45 mph winds recorded at 8 a.m. Sunday. Alberto is currently located about 135 miles west of Tampa.
In that advisory, forecasters also discontinued the tropical storm warning south of the Middle of Longboat Key near Sarasota. Still in effect is the tropical storm warning north of that point and up to the Mississippi-Alabama border.
But residents in the northern Gulf Coast will feel Alberto before they see the storm, forecasters say, adding that heavy rainfall and tropical storm conditions will likely reach the region by Sunday night. Those conditions will be felt along the warning zones on the west coast of Florida as well, according to the National Hurricane Center.
In the Florida Keys and the rest of South Florida, Alberto is expected to drop an additional three to six inches, with isolated storm totals of 10 inches, on Sunday, the hurricane center said. Forecasters warn that the storm could bring heavy rain and a risk of flooding and flash flooding to western Cuba, the Keys and South Florida through Sunday.
Miami-Dade County, expected to be spared from the worst of the storm, is forecast to face heavy rain in squalls, brief gusty winds no stronger than 40 mph and hazardous marine conditions, according to the National Weather Service in Miami.
Parts of Miami-Dade were under thunderstorm advisories early Sunday. A brief tornado warning was issued for parts of Dade County until 8:45 a.m. Sunday. The warning included Kendall, Palmetto Bay and Pinecrest, according to the National Weather Service.
Among other potential impacts the region may see are flooding in vulnerable areas, isolated power outages caused by downed trees, waterspouts possible across all waters and rip currents at the beach.
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