Weather Authority: Heavy rain and storms possible Wednesday

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By Saturday and Sunday, we should return to what is considered just a typical summertime risk of a few pop up thunderstorms late in the day.

We have our first landfalling system of (before) the season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's forecasters predicted a 70 percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms this year with winds of 39 miles per hour or higher.

At 8 a.m. Monday, the National Hurricane Center updated its forecast to say Alberto, positioned about 100 miles south-southeast of Destin, had winds of up to 65 mph and was expected to cross the northern Gulf Coast in the warning area Monday afternoon or evening.

In North Carolina, a television news anchor and a photojournalist were killed Monday while covering the weather, when a tree became uprooted from rain-soaked ground and toppled onto their SUV, authorities said.

In addition to parts of the southeastern US, the heavy rains and storm conditions could produce "life-threatening flash floods and mudslides" in Cuba, the NHC said.

As Alberto's weakening center heads inland it is being deprived of the warm waters that fuel tropical weather systems.

Up to 1 inch of rainfall is possible area wide, with some locally higher amounts possible.

"I don't know if it is weather-related or not, but we did get some pretty strong winds come through and then the call of the tower came in", Mayor Richard Herston said.

Alberto had picked up strength as it headed north through the Gulf of Mexico, bringing with it the warning of life-threatening inundation, said the Miami-based hurricane centre.

Hurricane season doesn't formally start until June 1.

The once subtropical storm is now centralized over West Central Tennessee and will continue on its way northward on what looks like a collision course with Greater Lafayette. The rest of Memorial Day will feature a good chance of a passing heavy downpour, but continuous rain is most likely during the morning hours.

Tennant did not directly blame the up to 2 inches of rain that fell Monday from the fringes of Alberto for the deaths.

Winds from the storm are forecast to hit Florida's Panhandle on Sunday night.

On Friday, Exxon Mobil Corp. pulled non-essential personnel from its Lena oil production platform and Royal Dutch Shell Plc shut in its Ram Powell hub, but most other energy companies are leaving offshore crews in place while they watch 2018's first Atlantic storm.

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