Alberto approaching Cuba as it begins to make turn north

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Alberto is likely to bring flooding and torrential rains to both states, according to the Miami Herald and Clarion Ledger, and a tropical storm watch has been issued for Florida's panhandle west of Gulf County.

As of 7 a.m. Saturday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Alberto was moving northward toward the southeastern Gulf of Mexico and was centered about 120 miles east-northeast of Cozumel, Mexico.

Alberto is expected to travel across the eastern Gulf of Mexico Saturday night through Monday and approach the northern part of the Gulf where it could make landfall Monday night.

The storm was forecast to come closest to South Florida late Saturday night and early Sunday morning - although it will remain well out in the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Hurricane Center has named the first storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, precisely one week before the season is expected to begin on June 1.

The storm on Saturday afternoon was last located about 105 km north-northwest of the western tip of Cuba and 315 km southwest of the Dry Tortugas, which is nearly 113 km west of Key West, Florida, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Flash flood watches are posted for portions of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia, extending to Atlanta, with rainfall totals expected between 3 and 5 inches through Tuesday. Alberto should be a "regular" tropical storm by then as it increases wind speed to around 65mph, but it won't be near our coast.

Earliest reasonable arrival time of tropical storm
Earliest reasonable arrival time of tropical storm

In 2016, Hurricane Alex became a tropical storm in the waters south of the Azores.

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, and this year, it looks like it might also bring an early start to the 2018 hurricane season. Heavy rainfall, flooding and tropical winds.

The axis for heavy rain is now in the Florida Panhandle with up to a foot of rain arriving Monday.

What is a subtropical storm?

Since forming Friday morning, Subtropical Storm Alberto has been drifting around off the Yucatan peninsula with no change in intensity. Several more inches of rain is likely this weekend from Alberto. After reaching top winds of 45 mph and spending 30 hours as a tropical storm, Arlene died. A sudden and severe rainstorm hit the city on May 18, flooding streets in Mid-City, Treme and other areas.

Tropical-storm force winds will be possible in western Cuba and in the northern Gulf coast area where watches are posted.

You'll likely have to adjust those weekend grilling plans for this Memorial Day weekend: As Subtropical Storm Alberto makes its way north through the Gulf of Mexico, sloppy, wet and potentially unsafe conditions are expected through Monday.