Alberto, year's first named Atlantic storm, makes Florida landfall

Hurricane season 2018 Tropical season Alberto damage to cost 1 billion

As Subtropical Storm Alberto barrels towards the Florida coast, Atlanta can expect to see heavy showers and the possibility for severe weather later Monday afternoon.

Alberto's top winds rose to 50 miles (80 kilometers) per hour early Sunday, up from 40 earlier, the National Hurricane Center said in a 11 a.m.

In addition to parts of the southeastern USA, the heavy rains and storm conditions could produce "life-threatening flash floods and mudslides" in Cuba, the NHC said.

"From an economic standpoint most of the damage is already done, probably $600 or $700 million worth of lost economic activity due to rain, warnings and preparations", said Chuck Watson, a disaster modeler at Enki Research in Savannah, Georgia. However, once Alberto is inland and deprived of the warm waters that fuel tropical weather systems, the storm was expected to steadily weaken.

The hurricane center said a tropical storm warning was in effect from the Suwannee River in Florida to the Mississippi-Alabama state line.

This five-day outlook shows the likely path subtropical depression Alberto will take north across the United States. The NOAA added that there is a 75% chance that the 2018 season will see near or more than the average number of storms in the basin.

Alberto also disrupted Memorial Day plans in Alabama, Florida and MS as it moved into the Southeast. The storm prompted Florida, Alabama and MS to launch emergency preparations over the weekend. Isolated, spin-up tornadoes will still be possible as through Tuesday as well.

The storm forced some Memorial Day tributes to be cancelled across Florida's Panhandle.

"My boyfriend and I usually try to go to the store and stock up on lots of bottled water, and get like canned goods and things that won't go bad if our power goes out", she said.

The National Weather Service said 2 to 6 inches of rain are expected in the rest of the Southeast and the Tennessee Valley into the lower mid-Atlantic from Tennessee east through the Carolinas.

Any storm activity should dissipate after sunset while lingering scattered to numerous showers will remain possible as Alberto begins its inland track to the north.

"The winds at landfall were 45 miles per hour, making it a low-end tropical storm".

Elsewhere, officials in Howard County in Maryland said a 39-year-old man was missing after flash flooding from a separate storm tore through the historic downtown of Ellicott City on Sunday. It is forecast to make a faster northern path in the coming days. Alberto will become the ninth named storm to make landfall on the continental United States before June 1 on record.

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