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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The tropical disturbance in the northwestern Caribbean became better organized and the National Hurricane Center has categorized it as Subtropical Storm Alberto.

As the system begins to slowly move north, showers and a few thunderstorms with heavy rain will gradually increase from the Keys into South Florida. Alberto is forecast to move north-northeast and strengthen off the west coast of Florida Saturday into Sunday before reaching the Panhandle or northeast Gulf coast late Sunday into Monday.

For South Florida, we will be on the right side of the track and thus see the worst of the weather. The closer the track shifts toward or away from us, the worse or better the weather. Presently, the main impacts appear to be heavy rainfall and possible flooding. Additionally, as the wind field strengthens and expands around the system, our winds will increase and there is a threat of some thunderstorm wind damage with sporadic power outages especially Saturday night and Sunday.

There is also a slight chance of isolated tornadoes. Through Monday, we may see rainfall totals ranging from 3 to 5 inches with some isolated higher amount of 6 to 7 inches possible. Because the ground is already saturated due to all the recent rain we’ve had, the flooding concern is high.

Passing storms and downpours will slowly decrease on Monday.

The threat of rip currents will increase along the Gulf coast through the weekend and early next week. We will likely see an elevated risk of rip currents along the Atlantic coast as well as hazardous marine conditions.

Preparations for this include securing anything like empty garbage cans and lawn furniture that could blow around in thunderstorm wind gusts. Avoid driving on flooded roads and it might not be a bad idea to have a working flashlight handy.

CBS4 Chief Meteorologist Craig Setzer contributed to this report.


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