FL underhurricane warning

Forecasters issued a hurricane warning for part of Florida's west coast Monday, saying Tropical Storm Alberto could strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane by the day's end.

BY DISASTER NEWS NETWORK | BALTIMORE | June 12, 2006


Forecasters issued a hurricane warning for part of Florida's west coast Monday, saying Tropical Storm Alberto could strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane by the day's end.

Earlier forecasters predicted Alberto's weakening throughout Monday, yet the storm has done the opposite so far. A hurricane hunter aircraft flew into the storm and discovered its center to be stronger than expected.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the posted hurricane warning stretches from Longboat Key to the Ochlockonee River. Tropical storm warnings are still out for some outlying areas of the storm's path as well.

Alberto's current path has it striking somewhere on the central or northern section of the Gulf Coast of Florida sometime Tuesday morning.

Alberto will bring heavy rain totaling up to eight inches in some parts of the state, forecasters said. The Florida State Emergency Operations Center began 24-hour operations on Monday, according to reports from the Florida governor's office. Storm surge of up to ten feet is also expected in some areas.

No evacuations had been ordered Sunday. Much of the state is also under a tornado watch as forecasters say the storm's conditions are also ripe for spawning twisters.

The good news? The rain is welcomed by firefighters who have been battling wildfires on Florida's east coast for weeks.

By Sunday afternoon, Alberto had winds near 45 mph, up by 10 mph from Sunday morning. Alberto was is expected to keep strengthening but will not develop into a hurricane, forecasters said.

Meanwhile Cuba could expect 30 inches of rain, with the threat of flash floods and mudslides.

Scientists have predicted that the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season will bring 16 named storms - and that six of them will be major hurricanes.


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