Tropical Storm Gordon expected to hit the Gulf Coast as a hurricane

National Hurricane Center

Tropical Storm Gordon hasn't completely formed yet, but the weather system raced over southern Florida, on Monday, September 3, and is now heading toward the Gulf.

The National Hurricane Center said Gordon's tight core was about 75 miles (125 kilometres) southeast of Biloxi, Mississippi, or about 70 miles (115 kilometres) south of Mobile, Alabama, where heavy rains and winds picked up shortly before nightfall.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is coordinating preparations for Tropical Storm Gordon that is expected to begin affecting the state Tuesday afternoon. Although the strongest winds - again, possibly at least 74 miles per hour as a low-end hurricane - will be at the center, gusty winds will be contained in the outer rain bands.

Meanwhile, a lot of the country is facing heavy rain and flooding this Labor Day - especially Kansas. Red flags flew over Pensacola-area beaches in Florida's Panhandle, where swimming and wading in the Gulf of Mexico was prohibited. It knocked out power to at least 27,000 utility customers in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. We'll increase the clouds as the day goes on and also look for a few isolated downpours after 6PM, particularly south of US-82.

The storm is then likely to continue strengthening as it moves into the eastern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday, before making landfall across the central Gulf Coast states Tuesday night. Storm totals of 2 to 4 inches, locally up to six, are expected across a large area of Collier, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties where a Flood Watch continues through 11 pm.

Tropical Storm Gordon Houston

Tropical storm and storm surge warnings were in effect along a long stretch of the central Gulf Coast from Morgan City, Louisiana, including Lake Pontchartrain, to the Alabama-Florida border.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a voluntary evacuation notice for areas outside of the New Orleans levee system ahead of Tropical Storm Gordon.

But at a press conference Monday evening, Governor Edwards said that doesn't mean Louisiana is in the clear, "because just a small shift of the track towards the west will bring those warnings into Louisiana", he explained. A storm surge warning was extended east to Dauphin Island.

Tropical Storm Gordon has formed and is continuing to strengthen.

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect. In this zone, the water could rise up 3 to 5 feet above normally dry land at the coast. Hurricane Florence was some 2,400 miles (3,900 kilometres) away from the US, and another potential storm was likely to form not far off the coast of Africa and head east.

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