The National Weather Service expects Gordon to gain strength once it enters the Gulf of Mexico, may reach near-hurricane level force; Garrett Tenney reports.
What has so far been called Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven is set to drench parts of the Florida-Alabama border by Tuesday night, dropping as much as 8 inches (20 cm) of rain in some areas still reeling from hurricanes a year ago.
The area along the coast (including parts of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi), is now under a hurricane watch, and forecasters do believe that the storm could reach a Category 1 hurricane before it reaches land.
Until then, the tropical storm could cause unsafe storm surge, strong winds, and flash flooding along the Gulf Coast from the tip of Florida to eastern Texas. Tropical Storm Gordon made landfall late Tuesday night around 10:00 P.M. near the Mississippi-Alabama state line, just east of Pascagoula.
Most recently, Hurricane Lane brushed past Hawaii last week, delivering a total 50 inches of rain and casting trees into the streets.
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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.
Gordon was located about 230 miles (365 km) east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River and was packing maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour (100 km/h), the Miami-based weather forecaster said. Flash flood watches stretched from the Florida panhandle, through parts of southwest Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa and IL.
The storm's predicted track had shifted slightly east as of Monday evening, meaning Louisiana is now just outside the area under the hurricane warning. Storm surge warnings have been issued there, as well. By Saturday, what's left of the storm was forecast to hook to the north, then northeast on a path toward the Great Lakes. Waves of 3 to 5 feet are expected, locally as high as 6 feet in some areas, and inland waterways will be choppy.
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. If this storm is able to form, it will take likely take the name Gordon.
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect. The Gulf regions would face continuous rainfalls in the coming days due to the movement of the hurricane storm through the region.