Flash flood watch in effect for Upstate, WNC, northeast Ga

Flash flood watch in effect for Upstate, WNC, northeast Ga

While the storm has not strengthened into a hurricane, it does threaten residents and vacationers across the US Southeast.

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.

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. Several inches (centimeters) were also possible from Tennessee east through the Carolinas.

"North Carolina needs to take Alberto seriously".

Tropical storm warnings were up for parts of the Panhandle and the Alabama coast.

In Panama City, Assistant Fire Chief Gary Swearingen said the rain and wind knocked down trees but did not require any rescues.

Jason Powell sought to keep his children entertained with movies and TV until Alberto blows past his pristine Florida vacation spot.

The mayor of Orange Beach, on Alabama's Gulf Coast, says Subtropical Storm Alberto is bringing rain and aggravation but isn't causing any serious problems in his community.

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The storm is the first storm of this year's hurricane season, coming a few day before the season officially starts on June 1.

The three states likely to bear the brunt of the storm have been preparing states of emergency.

A news release from Florida Gov. Rick Scott said that for Taylor County, "Voluntary evacuations have been issued for those in coastal zones and beach communities (Keaton, Dekel, Cedar, Dark Islands), mobile homes, RV parks and low-lying areas". Very little change in intensity or forward motion is expected by the time it makes landfall. As the center of Alberto pulls north and slightly west, the tail is forecast to swing toward South Florida. These locations could receive an additional 2-4 inches of rain.

The National Weather Service predicts we could get between 1 and 2.5 inches of rain through Sunday evening. And in the Tampa Bay area on the central Gulf Coast, cities offered sandbags for homeowners anxious about floods.

As we head into the middle parts of this week, remnants of subtropical storm Alberto will impact our area. But we'll still get scattered showers to develop as daytime heating helps add some lift to the atmosphere. We will still see hit-and-miss showers and storms that could produce some heavier downpours.which will continue a flood threat, especially in North Carolina where the ground is saturated.

"I strongly encourage everyone to be safe and stay informed", Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a statement.

Additionally, NOAA predicted there would be anywhere from five to nine hurricanes and one to four major hurricanes before the season's end in November.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Suwannee River in the Big Bend area of Florida to the Mississippi/Alabama border.