Subtropical depression Alberto: Latest updates

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Subtropical storm Alberto has fizzled into a subtropical depression as it hit the US state of Alabama, but it is still expected to bring heavy rain and flash flooding even as winds dropped to 48 kilometres per hour.

At its height, Alberto, the first storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, blasted sustained winds of 105km/h.

“It’s slowly weakening and it’s not regaining any strength,” David Roth, of the National Hurricane Center, (NHC) told Reuters news agency. 

However, the NHC warned it will still deliver heavy, potentially damaging rains, with as much as 30cm in some areas in north Florida and Alabama through Tuesday night. 

Anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer died while covering Alberto on Monday. The incident occurred in the state of North Carolina, after the storm broke a tree which has slammed into a car, killing the passengers. 

Below all the latest updates: 

Tuesday, May 29

  • Subtropical Storm Alberto has arrived at Orange Beach, Alabama. Maximum sustained winds are near 45km/h.
  • Alabama’s largest electrical utility says about 20,000 homes and businesses are without power as Alberto moves through the state.

  • Weakening is forecast over the next 48 hours. It is expected to produce 6-15cm of rain from Alabama northward into the southern Great Lakes and from north Florida into the southern Appalachians through Thursday.  

  • A tornado or two may occur on Tuesday from southern Kentucky to parts of Georgia, the NHC reported. 

  • At 6:00 GMT, Alberto was located near 33.3°N 87.2°W, about 105km south-southwest of Huntsville, Alabama.
  • Forecasters have downgraded Alberto to a subtropical depression but say a flood threat persists as it continues to dump heavy rains. 

Weather Prediction Center for subtropical depression Alberto [WPC QPF]

Monday, May 28

Sunday, May 27 

  • More than 5,000 were evacuated in Cuba over the subtropical storm. 

  • Some 3,000 people were evacuated in the central province of Sancti Spiritus because of the flooding threat, the EFE news agency reported.

  • Meanwhile, about 2,000 people were reportedly evacuated in the province of Villa Clara. 

A man rides a bicycle down a flooded road as Subtropical Storm Alberto passes by the west coast of Cuba, in Bahia Honda [File:Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters] 

Saturday, May 26

  • Florida, Alabama and Mississippi declare states of emergency ahead of the first named storm of the hurricane season.
  • On Saturday evening, the storm was located about 153km north of the western tip of Cuba and 440km southwest of the Dry Tortugas, which is almost 113km west of Key West, Florida, according to the NHC.

Friday, May 25 

  • Subtropical storm Alberto was roiling parts of coastal Mexico and Cuba. Both countries issued tropical storm watches.

  • At 06:00 GMT, Alberto was located about 90km south of Cozumel, Mexico, with maximum sustained winds of 65km/h.

  • Multiple warnings were issued across the Gulf Coast of the United States in preparation for Alberto’s arrival. The first advisories were issued at 21:00 GMT. 

An empty beach in Cancun, a popular tourist in southern Mexico, as Alberto approaches on May 25 [Israel Leal/Reuters]

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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