Subtropical Storm Alberto was downgraded to a subtropical depression Monday night, hours after making landfall along the Florida panhandle, the National Hurricane Center said.
Heavy rains are expected, with up to 12 inches possible over in parts of the Florida panhandle and Alabama.
As of 10 p.m. Monday, Alberto had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and its core was located in southern Alabama, near Opp. The storm is expected to move through Alabama Monday into Tuesday. It is then expected to move over the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday and into the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes region on Wednesday and Thursday.
National Hurricane Center
Alberto is expected to produce 2 to 6 inches of rain from Alabama to the western Great Lakes and from northern Florida to the mid-Atlantic coast through Wednesday.
Rough conditions were whipping up big waves off the eastern and northern Gulf Coast, and authorities warned swimmers to stay out of the surf because of life-threatening swells and rip currents.
"Given the short period of time before Alberto makes landfall, its overall ragged appearance, and proximity to dry air, little change in strength is expected before the subtropical storm reaches the coast," said John Cangialosi, a hurricane specialist at the hurricane center.
As Alberto's center heads inland -- deprived of the warm waters that fuel tropical weather systems -- the storm was expected to steadily weaken. 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.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for a stretch of coastline between Aucilla River in Florida's Big Bend and the Alabama-Florida border.