Subtropical Storm Alberto moves through Caribbean

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Tropical storm and storm surge watches continued on Saturday for a long stretch on the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida, including all of Alabama's coastline.

Now spinning off of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, forecasters named the subtropical storm "Alberto," which is the first of 21 names the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has on its list of possible storm names for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

Wind shear and dry air is still plaguing Alberto, but are expected to slacken Sunday giving the storm a chance to strengthen.

The first named storm of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season has formed, exactly one week before the official start of the season.

Alabama Governor Key Ivey ordered a state of emergency for a large portion of Alabama, including all southeast counties, beginning at 6 a.m. Sunday in advance of Tropical Storm Alberto.

Cuba is expected to get as much as 15 inches of rain, the National Hurricane Centre said. In the Tampa Bay area, up to 8 inches of rain is possible. A sub-tropical storm means the center of circulation is exposed and the rain and thunderstorms are pushed away from the center.

The forecast for Central Florida, including Volusia and Flagler counties, changed little on Saturday, although less rainfall had occurred than originally anticipated.

Associates at the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort said a few people had backed out for the weekend, but most kept their reservations.

Widespread rainfall amounts of three to five inches with total rainfall amounts of up to six inches in localized areas are also possible by Monday.

Subtropical Storm Alberto is now around 85 miles south/southeast of Cozumel, Mexico.

The National Weather Service has issued flash flood advisories across the region.

The National Hurricane Center defines subtropical storm as a "subtropical cyclone" in which the maximum sustained wind speed - using the USA one-minute average - is 39 miles per hour or higher. As it travels up the warm waters of the Gulf, it could well become a full tropical storm.

Because of it's poor organization and some cooler temperatures in the upper levels of the atmosphere, Alberto has been designated a subtropical storm. A sudden and severe rainstorm hit the city on May 18, flooding streets in Mid-City, Treme and other areas.

The impacts from this storm will not be limited to the coast, however, as it will bring even more tropical moisture into the South from Louisiana to North Carolina, which has been in a wet pattern for several days.