As of 7 a.m., subtropical storm Alberto was about 100 miles south-southeast of Destin, according to the National Hurricane Center. A tropical storm warning remained in effect from the mouth of the Suwannee River north of Cedar Key to the Alabama-Mississippi border. Rain moving north off the Atlantic Ocean was expected to arrive in the Triangle about 11 a.m. on Memorial Day and continue on and off through the evening and overnight hours.
After that, it will bring powerful winds and heavy rains as it moves into the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday, it said. The storm's top winds fell to 60 mph and it's expected to weaken further after it moves over land, gradually falling apart over the next 36 hours until it's completely swallowed up by another weather system over Canada late this week.
Friday's storms could be more widespread and potentially severe.
If you're traveling on Sunday or Memorial Day, the worst weather will be in areas west and northwest of Central Florida, including much of the Panhandle and the west coast of the state.
A separate storm system on Sunday caused flash flooding in the Baltimore suburb of Ellicott City, Maryland, turning its historic Main Street into a raging river, with water reaching past the first floor of buildings and sweeping cars down the road, local news video showed.
View Slideshow A satellite image shows Alberto as it nears landfall on the Florida Panhandle and the Gulf Coast on Monday. NOAA STAR
"The potential for flash flooding, mudslides and landslides will be very high in the [North Carolina] mountains", Panovich said.
Subtropical Storm Alberto is delivering heavy rain and gusty winds to Florida on Sunday morning with current projections showing the storm making landfall in the Panhandle as a tropical storm tomorrow. Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey declared states of emergency.
On Monday, Alberto is forecast to make landfall somewhere along the northern Gulf Coast - likely somewhere along the coastal region of the Florida Panhandle or southern Alabama.
"We are under this tropical-like influence and that is not going to really breakdown this pattern for at least the better part of this week, " said Al Moore, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Columbia. The storm had top sustained winds of 50 miles per hour.
Trivia: Although subtropical storms have always been a part of the historical record, they were not officially given names until 2002. Parts of Florida, Georgia and Alabama could get from 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) with some areas receiving as much as a foot of rain. Just because it's "nice and sunny" after the storm passes, Medlin says there's still a risk for swimmers.
- Alberto forms in the Gulf, flooding rains forecast
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