Tropical Storm Gordon tracks toward central Gulf coast; landfall expected tonight

Tropical depression may form in the Gulf of Mexico this week

The storm is over south Florida but later in the afternoon will hit the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. Forecasters predicted total rain amounts of 4-8 inches (10-20 centimeters) in parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa and IL.

A hurricane warning was in effect for the entire MS and Alabama coasts with the possibility Gordon would become a Category 1 storm.

The storm was centred at a distance of 153 kilometres away from the Fort Myers of Florida while the wind of speed was measured to be 60 miles per hour as reported by the National Hurricane Centre by 8 p.m. ET.

Parts of the northern Gulf Coast could see 3 to 6 inches rainfall Tuesday into Wednesday, from southeast Louisiana into far southern MS and far southern Alabama, according to the Weather Channel.

"Gordon will bring heavy rainfall and tropical storm conditions to portions of South Florida and the Florida Keys today and a tropical storm warning is in effect for these areas", the hurricane center said Monday.

Authorities across the Gulf Coast urged people to stay out of the water - warnings that beach lovers like Cameron Armstrong and Matthew Ewbanks ignored on their visit to Gulf Shores on the Alabama Gulf Coast.

The Mobile office of the National Weather Service, in a statement issued shortly before 11 a.m., said Gordon would likely produce flash flooding and possible coastal surge as the storm passes. The storm is small, but potent, with max winds estimated around 70 miles per hour. It drenched Florida on Labor Day, forcing officials in Miami and the Florida Panhandle to close beaches due to rough surf and potential rip currents. The region could see rising waters of 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 metres). The storm surge threat is significant. "You don't want to take it lightly, of course", MacDonald said.

L. J. Cazaux moved his boat to a nearby lot of elevated land before the rain started in one of the areas outside the protective system, Venetian Isles.

Areas under a storm surge watch and storm surge warning.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency as the storm bore down on his state's coast, as did Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey.

"MEMA has been monitoring the development of Tropical Storm Gordon very closely and will continue to do so through landfall which is now forecasted for some time late Tuesday night".

Well out into the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Florence continues to move west-northwestward as it flirts with hurricane strength.

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