Alberto, classified as a subtropical storm due to its hybrid appearance between a tropical storm - with a warm core - and a low-pressure system - with a colder, upper-level low pressure present - will move slowly toward the northern Gulf Coast on Memorial Day before eventually making landfall.
Alberto's maximum sustained winds are now 65 miles per hour (100 kph) with higher gusts and the minimum central pressure reads 991 MB or 29.27 inches.
As tropical storm Alberto plows through the Gulf of Mexico, it appears to have set a course north through Alabama and Tennessee. A tropical storm warning was discontinued from Florida's Anclote River to the Suwannee River. In Gulf County, T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park began evacuations Sunday morning.
Isolated tornadoes were possible across the region on Sunday and Monday.
All three counties are in north Florida. Subtropical storms can develop into tropical storms, which in turn can strengthen into hurricanes. Storm surge flooding was less of a concern because Alberto's arrival would not coincide with high tide, he said.
Mark Bowen, the Bay County emergency management director, suggested people stay safe - preferably indoors.
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"These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions", the National Hurricane Center in Miami said in a statement. But forecasters said it will dump heavy rain on parts of the Florida Panhandle, Alabama and Georgia, raising the risk of flash flooding.
The 5am National Hurricane Center forecast reflects these changes and now has landfall at late tonight, further west than yesterday evening's forecast, and much weaker.
Rain was in the forecast for the Orlando area as subtropical storm Alberto approached the Florida Panhandle Monday morning. Many spent the holiday weekend filling sandbags while businesses closed down as the storm moved in.
Thursday's storms look spotty but heavy: frequent lightning, heavy downpours covering small areas, and wind gusts up to 35 miles per hour. Steady weakening is expected after landfall and Alberto is forecast to become a tropical depression by Monday night or early Tuesday.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect from the Mississippi/Alabama border all the way through to Bonita Beach, Florida.
"The combination of storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline", the NHC said, with water potentially reaching 2 to 4 feet above ground if the peak surge occurs during high tide.