Wind, forward speed picks up as Alberto becomes more tropical

Tommy Whitlock left places a filled sand bag onto his trailer at a Harrison County Road Department sand bag location as Joseph Buckner adjusts the load while preparing for Subtropical Storm Alberto to make its way through the Gulf of Mexico (Credit AP

Down in the Tampa Bay area, it's still not a beach day.

The latest outlook from the National Hurricane Center (5 p.m. EDT Sunday) has Subtropical Storm Alberto making landfall in the western Florida panhandle near Destin on Monday afternoon (Memorial Day).

Subtropical Storm Alberto was disrupting plans for Memorial Day barbecues and beach outings in Alabama, Florida and MS, as the storm continued churning north through the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday. Lifeguards posted red flags along the white sands of Pensacola Beach, where swimming and wading were banned amid high surf and unsafe conditions. Overall it will be a drier day for all of CNY as a whole compared to Sunday.

Florida Governor Rick Scott issued the declaration for all 67 counties in his state.

Clearwater fire officials say "it's always wise to swim near the watchful eye of city's lifeguards".

Shelters were opened in Bay County, Florida, where Panama City is the county seat, ahead of the storm, WJHG.com reports.

The storm has the potential to become very serious.

Subtropical Storm Alberto Turns North-Northwest, No Change In Strength
The center said a tropical storm warning is in effect from the Suwannee River in Florida to the Mississippi-Alabama state line. It is showing signs of transitioning to something more tropical as deeper convection has developed near the center.

"The main concern from Alberto is flooding; not so much along the immediate coast, but inland, from the heavy rains that are coming on top of over a week of rain across the southeast", said Chuck Watson, a disaster modeler at Enki Research in Savannah, Georgia.

Areas along the Gulf Coast may receive 4-6 inches of rain while the Jacksonville metro area is can expect to receive between 1-3 inches.

"While Subtropical Storm Alberto is shifting eastward with a lessened impact on New Orleans, this is an important reminder that hurricane season begins June 1st", Cantrell said in a release.

Florida, Mississippi and Alabama have all declared states of emergency as Subtropical Storm Alberto bears down.

The emergency declarations free up state resources to respond to the storm if necessary.

Phil Bryant (R) authorized the use of the National Guard while Alabama National Guard activated its high water evacuation teams, CNN reported. Highs by this afternoon will reach into the mid to upper 80s and possibly higher if we get more sun, but like this past weekend we'll see storms pop up in the afternoon and evening again across the area. "That brings us cloudy skies and a good chance for showers and a few thunderstorms, with some locally heavy downpours and localized flash flooding possible". The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast, the NHC said. The storm's remnants could reach Upstate by Wednesday night or Thursday, according to local National Weather Service offices.

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