Alabama, Mississippi activate National Guard ahead of Subtropical Storm Alberto

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Janet Rhumes said her group of friends from Kansas had been planning their Memorial Day weekend on Navarre Beach since October, and no tropical storm could deter them.

In this Saturday, May 26, 2018, photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Hannibal and Emily Baldwin pose for a wedding photo under an umbrella outside the Casa Marina Resort in Key West, Fla. The storm is moving toward the north near 8 miles per hour (13 km/h). The tropical system became a subtropical storm Friday, the National Hurricane Center said.

Alberto expected to strengthen until it reaches the northern Gulf Coast, likely on Monday night.

A week before the official start to hurricane season, Subtropical Storm Alberto has made its way through the Gulf of Mexico toward Florida, bringing with it a blast of high winds and heavy rain.

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For those who wish to dip their toes in the water this week, be warned: strong breezes will produce above-normal waves, ranging from 2 to 4 feet, and risky rip currents through midweek, forecasters said.

The National Hurricane Center has also warned of the possibility of tornadoes "from northern Florida into central and southern Georgia, southern SC, and southeastern Alabama".

After landfall, Alberto's winds will decay, but the moisture envelop and rainfall will continue northward through Alabama and eventually IN by Wednesday. Lifeguards posted red flags along the white sands of Pensacola Beach, where swimming and wading were banned because of high surf and unsafe conditions.

Heavy downpours are expected to begin lashing parts of those states on Sunday.

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Flood and flash-flood watches are spread across Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, where 4 to 7 inches (10 to 18 centimeters) of rain could fall through early next week and reach into South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee expected to be hit by Alberto's remnants, the National Weather Service said. Heavy rain will likely begin to affect the central Gulf Coast region and the southeastern United States later this weekend and continue into early next week. Governors in Florida, Mississippi and Alabama on Saturday declared states of emergency.

Winds of 40 mph extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km) from the center.

A general view shows an empty beach as subtropical storm Alberto approaches Cancun, Mexico May 25, 2018. It is still predicted to bring extremely heavy rain, gusty winds and, just east of where the center makes landfall, a rise in ocean water of up to several feet above normally dry land.

A tropical storm warning remained in effect for an area stretching from the Suwannee River to the border of Alabama and Mississippi.

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Early forecasts from the Weather Prediction Center show an inch of rain falling over the next seven days across much of Upstate. Saturday , but almost 6 inches has fallen so far this month, about three times the normal amount.

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