Alberto puts Florida on storm watch (USA)

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Alberto puts Florida on storm watch (USA)

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TAMPA, Fla. - Most of Florida's west coast was under a tropical storm watch Sunday as the first named storm of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season spun over the Gulf of Mexico, threatening to bring heavy rain in the next few days.

In the evening, Tropical Storm Alberto had maximum sustained wind near 45 mph, up 10 mph from early in the morning, but it was not likely to grow into a hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said.

"We do not have any significant changes," said Lixion Avila, a senior hurricane specialist. "The system remains poorly organized."

Alberto is a lopsided tropical storm with the most intense wind and rains massed on the eastern edge of the system, Avila said. The first of the storm's rains swept across the Florida peninsula Sunday with no major reports of damage.

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Alberto, first named storm of 2006 hurricane season.

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By YCON: posted on 12-6-2006

Alberto prompts evacuation on Fla. coast

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CEDAR KEY, Fla. - More than 20,000 people along Florida's Gulf Coast were ordered to clear out Monday as Alberto — the very first tropical storm of the new hurricane season — unexpectedly picked up steam and threatened to come ashore as a hurricane.

Forecasters posted a hurricane warning for the Gulf Coast and a tropical storm warning from north of Daytona Beach to the Georgia-South Carolina line, saying Alberto could begin battering the coast early Tuesday. Gov. Jeb Bush signed a declaration of emergency allowing him to call up the National Guard and put laws against price gouging into effect.

"We're talking about powerful forces of nature," Bush said. "People need to take this very seriously."

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The first named storm of the season has picked up speed. Monday morning the wind speeds went from 50 to 70 mph, 4 mph short of becoming a hurricane. An evacuation was ordered for mobile and low lying areas. The didn't expect it to become a hurricane and now they don't expect it to go beyond a category 1 hurricane, 74 to 95mph winds.
By YCON: posted on 13-6-2006

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