Flood and flash-flood watches are spread across Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, where 4 to 7 inches (10 to 18 centimeters) of rain could fall through early next week and reach into South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee expected to be hit by Alberto's remnants, the National Weather Service said.
On Sunday, some USA states were recording winds of 50 miles per hour and up to 10 inches of rain, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center director Ken Graham.
Little change in strength is forecast before Alberto reaches the northern Gulf Coast.
The center also has discontinued all storm surge warnings for most of the state's peninsula. Steady weakening is expected after landfall, and Alberto is forecast to become a tropical depression Monday night or Tuesday. "I ask everyone to please make final preparations to your family emergency plan, especially those that live in mobile homes and low-lying areas". Outside of storm chances, look for very warm and muggy highs in the mid-upper 80's.
Mark Bowen, the Bay County Emergency management director, said at a Sunday afternoon news conference that the concern isn't with storm surge due to the timing of landfall and the tides. People are cautioned not to swim or play in the Gulf because the storm will kick up risky rip currents.
A flood watch is active for the majority of Central Florida through Monday evening. On Saturday evening, a wind gust of 47 miles per hour was reported by the National Weather Service in Key West, Florida.
Cuba is expected to get as much as 15 inches of rain, the hurricane center said in an advisory Saturday morning, and the Florida Keys and South Florida could get as much as 10 inches.
Authorities say conditions are especially risky with flooding rains coming overnight and on a holiday weekend when many people have outdoor plans. Alberto is now located about 165 miles west of Tampa. Just because it's "nice and sunny" after the storm passes, Medlin said, there's still a risk for swimmers.
Alberto lumbering north toward US Gulf Coast
Tampa, Florida; Sarasota, Florida; and Fort Myers, Florida, are under a tropical storm warning for tropical storm conditions arriving on Saturday.
Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Centre Ken Graham said in a video briefing that downpours caused some street flooding. The main threat is from heavy rain that could lead to flooding, the city said, but also high winds and storm surge could cause problems.
Meteorologists expect a turn toward the north-northwest at a slower speed into Sunday.
Still, the storm is putting a major damper on one of the biggest money makers for Florida's beach industry.
Rough conditions were expected to roil the seas off the eastern and northern Gulf Coast region through Tuesday.
A tropical storm watch is in effect for parts of MS and Alabama, meaning the conditions for a full storm are possible in the next 48 hours.
Tropical Storm Warnings continue for almost the entire Gulf Coast of Florida, and a Storm Surge Watch continues for coastal regions from the Nature Coast to Pensacola.
On Saturday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for all 67 counties of Florida.More news: Helicopters on standby for large-scale evacuation in Hawaii
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