Alberto, a rare preseason subtropical storm, formed in the Gulf of Mexico Friday, threatening to slam the Florida Panhandle and northern Gulf Coast with flooding from heavy rain and storm surge early next week.
In a 2 p.m. advisory, forecasters said the storm had stalled about 60 miles south of Cozumel, Mexico, with sustained 40 mph winds extending about 115 miles from the storm’s center. The storm is expected to pass near the Yucatán coast Friday night and continue to the north over the weekend before turning to the northwest by Monday as it nears the U.S. coast, increasing in intensity and possibly becoming a hurricane.
Heavy rain remains the storm’s biggest threat, with the Keys expected to get four to eight inches. Up to 12 inches could fall in some locations. Cuba and the Yucatán Peninsula could get 10 to 15 inches, with up to 25 inches in harder hit locations, increasing the risk of dangerous flash floods.