This GOES-16 GeoColor satellite image taken Saturday, May 26, 2018, at 21:30 UTC, and provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), shows Subtropical Storm Alberto in the the Gulf of Mexico. (NOAA via AP)
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Beaches in Florida were largely empty ahead of Memorial Day as a slowly intensifying storm carrying brisk winds and heavy rain approached the U.S. Gulf Coast on Sunday.Subtropical Storm Alberto -- the first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season that starts June 1 -- prompted Florida, Alabama and Mississippi to launch emergency preparations Saturday. Rough conditions were expected to roil the seas off the eastern and northern Gulf Coast region through Tuesday.The hurricane center said Sunday that a tropical storm warning was in effect from Bonita Beach, Florida, to the Mississippi-Alabama border.The storm had top sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph).A subtropical storm like Alberto has a less defined and cooler center than a tropical storm, and its strongest winds are found farther from its center. Subtropical storms can develop into tropical storms, which in turn can strengthen into hurricanes.
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