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Storm Alberto landfall expected on Florida panhandle

Staff Writer |
The first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season is maintaining its strength as it approaches the Florida panhandle, and is expected to make landfall sometime on Monday in a coastal area normally packed with crowds for Memorial Day.

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The National Hurricane Center said in its 2 p.m. ET advisory that Subtropical Storm Alberto still has top sustained winds of 50 mph, and is located about 30 miles south of Panama City, moving north at 8 mph.

"On the forecast track, the center of Alberto will cross the northern Gulf Coast in the warning area this afternoon or evening," the center said.

"The weakening system is forecast to move well inland into the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday and into the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes region on Wednesday and Thursday."

The NHC warned of life-threatening surf conditions, the possibility of a few brief tornadoes in much of Florida and parts of Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. Heavy rains are also expected in many areas, with some locations seeing between up to a foot of rain across the Florida panhandle into Alabama.

Alberto's approach to the region triggered mandatory evacuations of some small, sparsely populated Gulf Coast barrier islands in one Florida county.

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