Gordon is moving very quickly to the west-northwest at 17 miles per hour and on the current forecast track, it is likely to make landfall either late Tuesday or very early Wednesday morning as a category 1 hurricane along the northern Gulf Coast.
The hurricane warning was placed into effect for the area stretching from the mouth of the Pearl River in MS to the Alabama-Florida border.
A storm surge warning was in effect for the area between Shell Beach, Louisiana, and Dauphin Island, Alabama, with predicted heights of up to 3 to 5 feet if the peak surge coincides with high tide. It was moving west at 15 miles per hour, pushing maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour with higher gusts.Forecasters said that little change in strength was expected and that no coastal watches or warnings were in effect.
By evening, the storm was headed west-northwest at 17 miles per hour into the Gulf of Mexico and has maximum winds of 60 miles per hour.
Skies quickly turned from partly cloudy to dark gray as storms spread over the port city of Mobile in the evening.
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Model trends still keep it largely tracking further to the east than in previous tracks and at this time, direct impacts from this storm are not expected here in the Brazos Valley.
Gordon had formed into a tropical storm near the Florida Keys early Monday, hitting South Florida with heavy rains and high winds before moving into the Gulf of Mexico.
The storm is forecast to unleash multiple hazards along the coast, including torrential rain, strong winds, and a storm surge of up to several feet, which is a rise in ocean water above normally dry coastal land.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency, saying 200 Louisiana National Guardsmen were being deployed, along with 63 high-water trucks, 39 boats, and 4 helicopters. Hurricane Warnings and Storm Surge Warnings continue for the coastal counties.
A Tropical Storm Gordon Twitter account even cropped up on Monday, personifying the terror so many people felt. While likely to remain outside of the storm's core, this zone is still expected to see gusty winds and heavy rainfall.
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However authorities issued a voluntary evacuation order for residents outside the levee protection system, including the Venetian Isles, Lake Saint Catherine and Irish Bayou areas.
"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", the center said.
The National Weather Service said Naples, Marco Island, and Everglades City also could expect hazardous weather on Monday.
A few pop-up showers will be possible, while the tropical rain from Gordon will be slamming the Gulf Coast. A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for a portion of the Mississippi-Alabama border.
Tropical Storm Gordon Moves Toward Gulf
According to the National Weather Service in Melbourne, the system will move across South Florida on Monday. Behind Tropical Storm Florence , another tropical wave is trying to develop off the west coast of Africa.