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article imageTropical Storm Gordon heads to Gulf Coast after lashing Florida

By Karen Graham     Sep 3, 2018 in Environment
Tropical Storm Gordon formed in the Florida Keys on Monday morning and is forecast to strengthen over the next 48 hours as it brings strong winds and heavy rain to the Gulf of Mexico, possibly as a Category 1 Hurricane.
Tropical Storm Gordon formed rather quickly Monday morning over the Florida Keys and after battering South Florida and the Keys with heavy rains and tropical storm force winds, the storm is headed to the north-northwest.
Gordon continues to intensify as it moves out over the warm Gulf waters, making a beeline toward the northern Gulf Coast and a landfall late Tuesday as a strong tropical storm or possibly a Category 1 hurricane.
At 2:00 p.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center put Tropical Storm Gordon about 60 miles (95 kilometers) west-southwest of Key Largo, Florida, and about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south-southeast of Marco Island, Florida.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted that Floridians and visitors should monitor the weather system and remain vigilant. "Right now, according to @NHC_Atlantic, the biggest impact to our state will be heavy rain, but in Florida, we know how quickly the weather can change," he said.
Gordon's present movement is to the west-northwest at approximately 16 mph (26 kph). The storm has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (75 kph) and minimum central pressure of 1007 MB or 29.74 inches.
The NHC has now issued a hurricane watch from the mouth of the Pearl River, Mississippi, to the border between Alabama and Florida. This means that hurricane-force winds of 74 mph or higher are possible in the watch areas.
Tropical storm warnings are posted for South Florida, from Golden Beach on the southeastern coast to Bonita Beach on the southwestern coast, as well as for the Keys, from Craig Key to Ocean Reef.
Tropical Storm warnings are also posted from the Okaloosa-Walton County border in Florida westward to east of Morgan City, Louisiana, including Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. Tropical Storm warnings mean that tropical-storm-force winds of 39 mph or greater are expected in 36 hours or less.
Impacts from Gordon
Gordon is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches over most of the central and northwestern Bahamas, the Florida Keys, and South Florida through early Tuesday. Isolated maximum amounts of 8 inches or more are possible over the southern Florida peninsula.
Parts of the northern Gulf Coast could see 4 to 6 inches rainfall Tuesday through Wednesday, from southeastern Louisiana into far southern Mississippi and far southern Alabama. Localized totals of 8 inches or more are possible in some areas by early Thursday. Because of this, there could be flooding in this region, including the New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama, metro areas.
The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the east of the landfall location, where the surge will be accompanied by large waves.
More about tropical storm Gordon, category 1, Gulf coast, storm surge, heavt rainfall
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