Tropical Storm Gordon forms near Florida Keys


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. Tropical Storm Gordon, now off the coast of South Florida, will move northwest over the next three days.

Gordon could drop heavy rain - generally 4 to 8 inches, but as many as 12 - from Florida's western panhandle to southern Arkansas through Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said.

Right now the storm is predicted to make landfall east of Louisiana, NOLA reported.

The Miami-based centre said the storm is also expected to bring "life-threatening" storm surge to portions of the central Gulf Coast.

The threat of Tropical Storm Gordon has forced the cancellation of a Labor Day fireworks show on Anna Maria Island.

The Mississippi cities of Gulfport, Biloxi and Long Beach ordered mandatory evacuations of their harbors and marinas, and the U.S. Coast Guard said the ports of New Orleans and of Gulfport and Pascagoula in Mississippi could have to be closed if winds get too strong. Some area in southern Florida may receives 8 inches.

Tropical Storm Gordon is pounding south Florida at the moment and this area includes the major cruise ports in Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

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Residents in parts of South Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana are being warned to prepare for tropical storm-force winds with the onset of Tropical Storm Gordon. Over the warm waters of the open Gulf some strengthening is expected. Its maximum sustained winds top out at 65 miles per hour.

Tropical Storm Gordon is set to slam into the north central Gulf Coast on Tuesday night. By mid-morning today winds were around 45mph with higher gusts as it moved west-northwest at close to 16 miles per hour across Key Largo towards the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. No cruise itinerary changes have been officially announced yet but as Gordon heads toward the Gulf coast this will likely change. About 2 million people are under a hurricane watch or warning. The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide.

A slow-moving storm system continues to produce heavy rain and flooding from Kansas to Illinois Monday morning and into the afternoon.

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.

Conditions should improve along the coast during the day Wednesday, while heavy rain expands inland through western MS, northeast Louisiana, and southeast Arkansas.

There were no immediate indications that the storm had affected energy operations in the Gulf of Mexico area.