Tropical storm warning issued for part of Tampa Bay area

Alberto approaching Cuba as it begins to make turn north

Alberto approaching Cuba as it begins to make turn north

The storm, which has not yet become fully tropical, was located 120 miles east-northeast of Cozumel, Mexico, and 70 miles south of Cuba's western tip.

A Tropical Storm Warning covers the coasts and bays of coastal Alabama and the Florida panhandle. Some areas could see up to 15 inches or rain.

Hotels along the Emerald Coast were seeing some cancellations, but not many.

Manatee residents should be ready for swaths of rain as Alberto moves north over the Gulf over the next few days.

Damita Bridges, front desk associate at the Best Western on Okaloosa Island, said less than half of guests had canceled their weekend reservations.

"With the advances made in hardware and computing over the course of the past year, the ability of NOAA scientists to both predict the path of storms and warn Americans who may find themselves in harm's way is unprecedented", Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in the NOAA report.

"This is a fair amount of activity we're expecting".

Scott said "it is critically important that all Florida counties have every available resource to keep families safe and prepare for the torrential rain and severe flooding this storm will bring".

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The National Weather Service in Mobile has expanded a flash flood watch for southwest Alabama and said the rain could begin as soon as tonight and last through Tuesday.

High tide at King's Bay is 2.4 feet at about 3:18 p.m. Sunday.

Meteorologists say Alberto is now packing sustained winds near 40 miles per hour but strengthening is expected as it moves through warmer waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Subtropical storms can develop into tropical storms, which in turn can strengthen into hurricanes. These projections will change as the storm gets closer. Central Time on Sunday for several counties. All key personnel from agencies like the School Board, Health Department and Sheriff's Office will be on standby.

The subtropical storm will move into the Gulf of Mexico today. "Heavy rainfall is still the primary concern", said Storm Team 8 meteorologist Ian Oliver.

Tropical downpours continue: The chance of storms over the weekend is elevated because we have good confidence in chaotic, hit-or-miss, spotty storms. However, the moisture associated with it will create widespread showers and storms through the middle of next week.

Rain totals in Beaufort County are predicted to be between a quarter-and-a-half inch on Sunday and three-quarters-and-one inch on Monday.

The storm is expected to bring significant rain, threatening the start of the summer tourist season for beach towns along the Gulf Coast.

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