Tropical Storm Gordon should strike Gulf Coast as hurricane, forecasters predict

Tropical Storm Gordon should strike Gulf Coast as hurricane, forecasters predict

As much as 8 inches of rain could fall in some parts of the Gulf states through late Thursday.

The storm surge - the quick rise in water caused by a hurricane's strong winds - could reach 2 to 5 feet (60 to 150 centimetres) from the western middle of the Florida peninsula to the Mississippi-Alabama border, and 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 centimetres) from the mouth of the Mississippi River to the Louisiana-Texas border.

Tropical Storm Gordon will continue to make its way through the Gulf of Mexico and is forecast to reach hurricane strength sometime Tuesday evening before making landfall.

Gordon grew in size and achieved tropical-storm-force winds remarkably fast. Gordon has intensified with maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour and continues to have an improved structure on satellite and radar (see Fig. 1).

Gordon should make landfall Tuesday night along or near the MS coast (see Fig. 4).

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New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell held an afternoon news conference and said the city has "the pumps and the power" needed to protect residents.

Tampa Bay was pelted with bands of rain and occasionally gusty winds from Tropical Storm Gordon on Monday, but Gulf Coast states could be in for worse.

After forming near the Florida Keys Monday morning and moving west-northwest into the Gulf of Mexico, Gordon brought winds of almost 50 miles per hour and sometimes heavy rains over Tampa Bay by midday.

Areas under a storm surge watch and storm surge warning. A voluntary evacuation order has been issued for Grand Isle, Louisiana and schools have also closed for September 4th in Grand Isle.

Geo Rodriguez made a decision to go for a walk on Hollywood Beach, north of Miami, on Monday morning and got caught in the storm.

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Meanwhile, no coastal watches or warnings are in effect for Tropical Storm Florence. This will mean some flooding possibilities for Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and the Mobile area.

Airlines including Delta, Southwest and Frontier warned that delays and flight cancellations are possible at airports near the Gulf Coast because of the storm, and that they may waive fees for itinerary changes.

The last time there was no hurricane between July 13 and September 3, peak season, was in 2013, Klotzbach said.

"Gordon will not be just a coastal event, and not just wind but also water could be damaging, unsafe and even deadly, especially if preparations are not rushed to completion as early as possible today before tropical storm conditions arrive", said Rick Knabb, The Weather Channel's tropical weather expert.

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