The three southern states are preparing for the worst, as Alberto is expected to make landfall in Florida on Monday morning. According to a report by CNN, the storm has already caused dreary weather for Memorial Day weekend all along the Gulf coast.
On Sunday, Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in all 67 of Florida's counties. The office of Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant issued a statement announcing that he had authorized the use of the national guard. Governor Kay Ivey of Alabama declared a state of emergency in 40 counties beginning at 6 a.m.
Ivey also activated Alabama's emergency operations center, and the state's National Guard prepared high water evacuation teams.
The storm has the potential to become very serious. The National Hurricane Center warns that heavy rain and flooding is expected on the island of Cuba, as well as southern Florida and the Florida Keys.
"Heavy rains and gusty winds continue to spread northward over Florida," tweeted the account. "Hazardous storm surge is possible along portions of the central and eastern Gulf Coast beginning Sunday."
Alberto is the first officially named storm of this hurrican season. While it is currently categorized as a Subtropical Storm, meteorologists expect it to pick up speed as it makes its way through the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend.
As many as 15 inches of rain are expected in Cuba, while as many as 10 could be headed to southern Florida. Flooding is expected, and the city of New Orleans is urging business owners and residents to get prepared.
In addition, Alberto will bring high winds and storm surges, which could add to the issues of flooding.
"I strongly encourage everyone to be safe and stay informed," New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said, according to CNN.0comments
Technically, hurricane season does not officially begin until June 1. The hurricane center named Alberto on Friday, and expects it to become a full on tropical storm before its over. Alabama and Mississippi have tropical storm watches in effect for the next 48 hours.
The optimistic news is that meteorologists say Alberto doesn't necessarily signal a busy hurricane season. In fact, many are hopeful that it won't be quite as hectic as last year. The hurricane center expects this summer to be "near or above normal" in terms of storm frequency.