The U.S. Coast Guard in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi launched emergency preparations ahead of the arrival of subtropical Storm Alberto. The National Weather Service says the system is speeding up and is expected to hit the Florida panhandle Monday afternoon before heading north into east-central Alabama. Alberto is expected to retain tropical storm force through much of its trek up Alabama. Heavy downpours were expected to begin lashing parts of Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Sunday. The National Hurricane Center in Miami issued tropical storm warnings for parts of Florida and Alabama, saying tropical storm conditions are possible there by Sunday night. The governors of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi all declared states of emergency ahead of the storm. About 5 to 10 inches of rain are possible along affected areas in eastern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, western Tennessee and the western Florida Panhandle. Isolated areas could see as much as 15 inches.