Flash flood watch issued for Triangle ahead of Alberto's downpours

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Alberto is expected to cause heavy rains in South Florida and the Florida Keys while a tropical storm watch is in effect for parts of MS and Alabama. The threat for heavy rainfall really ramps up during this period and could lead to some localized high water issues.

According to WRAL meteorologist Mike Moss, the storm will stay away from North Carolina in terms of direct impacts, bringing possible heavy showers and thunderstorms to the state on Monday and Tuesday.

Alberto is a large system, sending rain to Cuba, Florida, and even portions of the Bahamas.

Flash flood watch issued for Triangle ahead of Alberto's downpours
Flash flood watch issued for Triangle ahead of Alberto's downpours

A storm surge watch is in effect along the USA gulf coast, from Crystal River to the mouth of the Mississippi River. Forecasters said Alberto has most recently taken a northwesterly course at 9 mph (15 kph) that was expected to bring it over the northern Gulf Coast in coming hours on or near the Florida Panhandle.

Initially predicted to be just a rainmaker for the Wiregrass, Subtropical Storm Alberto now poses some other threats for southeastern Alabama.

Governors in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida have all declared states of emergency.

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Alberto got an early jump on the 2018 hurricane season, which doesn't officially start until June 1. Grant Brown, the city's public information officer, said they had already finished a number of preparations such as clearing culverts to prepare for big rains but Sunday had turned into a "really nice day". Then by later Monday, the main moisture feed - the tail of Alberto - is forecast by the computer models to move back over us as the center of the storm goes ashore in the panhandle.

Between Hurricane Harvey in Texas, Irma in the Caribbean and southeastern US and Maria in Puerto Rico, past year was one of the most active hurricane seasons on record, said The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"I'm doing this because every time we have a hard rain, it floods at my house", Whitlock said.

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By midday on Sunday, the storm was about 240 miles (386 km) northwest of Key West, Florida, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Mandatory evacuations were issued for Franklin County's barrier islands and anybody living on the coastline in mobile homes and recreational vehicle parks.

"If you are planning to travel on Monday (Memorial Day) the combination of severe weather and heavy traffic conditions could prove hazardous".

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The tropical system became a subtropical storm Friday, the hurricane center said.