Storm Alberto churns toward Florida, Alabama and Mississippi

Tropical storm watch and warnings are in place for Alberto along the Gulf Coast

The storm prompted Florida, Alabama and MS to launch emergency preparations over the weekend.

Forecasters said Alberto could bring life-threatening high water to southern coastal states when it slams an area from MS to western Georgia with up to 12 inches (30 cm) of rain and possible tornadoes.

Those who wish to fearless the conditions and head to the beach should be extra cautious as strong breezes will produce above-normal tides waves ranging from 2 to 4 feet producing risky rip currents through midweek, forecasters said.

The storm continued churning north through the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday and is scheduled to make landfall on the Florida Panhandle early Monday morning, reports CNN.

The NHC warned of life-threatening surf conditions, the possibility of a few brief tornadoes in much of Florida and parts of Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama.

As of 5 a.m., the storm was about 125 miles south of Destin, Florida, and moving northwest at about 7 mph.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued a state of emergency on Saturday for all 67 counties in his state.

Alberto is expected to hold its current strength. but very little additional strengthening is likely before coming ashore across the USA east central Gulf coast.

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A flash flood watch remains in effect through Monday night in parts of the state. It says the focus and concern remain in the Panhandle where the storm is expected to make landfall amid forecasts of heavy rainfall.

Alberto will continue to impact Middle Georgia through the middle of the week, bringing more heavy rainfall to the area.

Alberto formed days ahead of the official start of the six-month Atlantic hurricane season on June 1. The latest forecast has the system coming ashore in the Florida Panhandle.

Stay with Storm Team 3 as we track Alberto this holiday weekend and be sure to download the free WSAV weather app.

"The big message is we don't want to give a false sense of security", said Patrick Brafford, Clearwater's Beach Safety supervisor. In Gulf County, T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park began evacuations Sunday morning.

In Miami, organizers called off the sea portion of the Miami Beach Air & Sea Show Sunday because of heavy rain and rough waters.

Maximum sustained winds were clocked at 65 miles per hour (100 kph).

Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency for the area rebuilding from a devastating flood about two years ago that killed two people and damaged dozens of buildings.

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