Alberto heading for Gulf Coast
Subtropical Storm Alberto will continue its slow approach to the Gulf coast overnight. At 5 p.m., Alberto was about 100 miles south of Apalachicola with 65 mph sustained winds. The storm was moving northwest at 10 mph.
Alberto is still categorized as a "subtropical" storm because it doesn't have all the characteristics of a purely "tropical" system. Alberto is expected to become more organized and will likely make that transition to a "tropical" storm before in makes landfall. This difference in name is not very important. No matter what forecasters call the storm, it will bring dangerous wind, rain, storm surge, and rip tides to many along the Gulf Coast.
The forecast path of Alberto has shifted slightly to the east. The storm is now expected to make landfall somewhere between Apalachicola, Florida and Pensacola, Florida on Monday morning.
The main focus for our area through this period will continue to be Subtropical Storm Alberto as it moves closer to the northeastern Gulf Coast. Tropical Storm Warnings remain in effect along the Gulf Coast, Florida Panhandle and in Southeast Alabama.
Highest winds will be along the immediate coast. However, gusts to tropical storm strength will likely spread inland Monday afternoon and evening. Most of Southwest Georgia west of Interstate 75 can see 30-35 mph wind gusts. For perspective, a strong summer storm can feature wind speeds of 60-70 mph. So while the wind we will see from Alberto won't be especially strong by comparison... with the rain we've already had this month, the ground is soaked and it won't take much to down some trees and cause damage.
Plenty of rain will also fall across South Georgia. Even though we figure to be far from the strongest part of the storm, rain extends out from the center for hundreds of miles. Rain from Alberto, at times heavy, will linger through the middle of the work week. We may pick up another 2-4 inches.
We cannot rule out some isolated severe weather either, particularly on Monday afternoon or evening. Tornadoes often spawn on the right hand side of a landfalling storm. These types of tornadoes tend to be very weak and very short-lived. At this point, it's a low end threat, but it's something we'll be monitoring as Alberto moves inland.
Be sure to download the FOX 31 news apps on your Apple or Android phones to stay ahead of this storm. This remains a developing forecast. Stick with us on air, online, and via social media as the storm approaches.