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Flood Watch Issued for Tampa Metro Ahead of Subtropical Storm Alberto

The first named storm of the year has formed in the western Caribbean, and it's headed for the Florida Panhandle this weekend.  Subtropical Storm Alberto could produce tropical storm force winds, storm surge flooding, and flash flooding along the Florida Gulf Coast Sunday and Monday. The storm could also slow to crawl as it moves inland, enhancing the flood risk further inland through Wednesday.

The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for the entire WUSF listening area through Monday evening.  The heaviest rain is likely to move into west-central Florida by Sunday morning and continue through Monday afternoon. Strong thunderstorms are also possible every afternoon and evening through Thursday. Early rainfall projections through Tuesday are between 4 and 6 inches. This could lead to localized urban flooding in low-lying areas.  River flooding is also possible in the days following the event. 

Breezy conditions and waterspouts are possible along the coast, with a few isolated tornadoes possible across interior sections. The strong onshore winds might also produce minor coastal flooding or a minor storm surge in low-lying areas. It is too early for specifics on potential coastal hazards to be projected.

Subtropical Storm Alberto's moisture and resulting downpours may linger over the state through much of next week, further aggravating the flooding risk. However, other tropical weather hazards such as surge, wind and coastal flooding should subside by Tuesday.

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