(3:30 p.m.) -- The winds of Tropical Storm Alberto, now about 85 miles from Tallahassee, have lost a lot of their punch, sinking from near hurricane speed of 70 miles per hour to 40 m.p.h. at this point. The storm is expected to be downgraded further later today.
Alberto did not hamper cruises though it caused jitters as it approached the U.S. -- particularly from those sailing out on cruises this weekend. Fortunately the storm neither arrived on a weekend -- key embarkation time of the week -- did it shower any of the major departure ports with anything but some wind and rain.
We'll still keep an eye on Alberto as it makes its way up the East Coast in whatever form; there is potential that it could cause stormy conditions in some of coast's seasonal ports, such as Charleston, Norfolk, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston.
More significant, at least at this point, is the fact that, however weak, Alberto got the year off to a quick start -- a year that predictors anticipate will be a busy one.