Janet Rhumes said her group of friends from Kansas had been planning their Memorial Day weekend on Navarre Beach since October, and no tropical storm could deter them.
The NWS said waves as high as 18 feet could pound the popular Gulf beaches in Baldwin County, Alabama, and northwestern Florida on Monday.
A fisherman casts his line from the storm wall along Pascagoula Bay in Pascagoula, Miss., Sunday, May 27, 2018. Little change in strength is expected before Alberto reaches the northern Gulf Coast later today.
Although Alberto is not expected to make landfall on the US Gulf Coast until 00:00 GMT on Tuesday, heavy rains are expected to start across the region today and continue for several days.
Anticipated to make landfall on Monday, Alberto is the first storm ahead of this year's Atlantic hurricane season, which formally starts on 1 June. The weakening system is forecast to move well inland into the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday and into the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes region on Wednesday and Thursday, said hurricane specialist John Cangialosi.
Brief tornadoes are possible from northern Florida into central and southern Georgia, southern SC and southeastern Alabama. Locally heavy rain can be expected throughout Memorial Day.
Forecasters say the most risky conditions could be in the mountains.
Heavy downpours are expected to begin lashing parts of those states on Sunday. Tropical-storm force winds will be possible in western Cuba and in the Gulf coast area where warnings are posted.
Florida Governor Rick Scott, who issued a state of emergency on Saturday in all of the state's 67 counties, said on Sunday that the Florida National Guard had 5,500 guard members ready to be deployed if needed.
The NHC defines subtropical storm as a "subtropical cyclone" in which the maximum sustained wind speed - using the USA one-minute average - is 39 miles per hour or higher. A tropical storm warning was discontinued from Florida's Anclote River to the Suwannee River. "Hazardous storm surge is possible along portions of the central and eastern Gulf Coast beginning Sunday". By the afternoon and throughout the evening, showers and thunderstorms will be spread across Kentucky. He said Alberto's biggest threat will be its heavy rains, with forecasts of anywhere from four to 12 inches (10-30 centimeters) of rain in some areas.
The Florida Panhandle has been issued with a mandatory evacuation notice, affecting some 4,200 housing units, while Taylor County, to the east has a voluntary evacuation order in place for its coastal areas. And in the Tampa Bay area on the central Gulf Coast, cities offered sandbags for homeowners anxious about floods.
The early storm doesn't necessarily mean it will be a busier-than-usual hurricane season though.