Hurricane warning issued as Tropical Storm Gordon takes aim at Gulf Coast


Tropical Storm Gordon is continuing its push toward the northern Gulf Coast.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for, Alabama-Florida border to Okaloosa-Walton county line.

The storm now packing maximum sustained winds of 30 miles per hour (45 kph) is expected to produce up to 4 inches (10 cm) of rain in parts of the Bahamas, the Florida Keys and South Florida through early Tuesday, it said.

As Tropical Storm Gordon makes a beeline toward the central Gulf coast, hurricane development isn't out of the question.

Up to 8 inches of rain was expected to have covered parts of south Florida by Tuesday, with 1 to 2 inches projected around Tampa Bay, according to Norman, the National Weather Service meteorologist.

After moving northwest, the next landfall for Gordon will likely be somewhere in southeastern Louisiana or southern Mississippi.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a voluntary evacuation notice for areas outside of the New Orleans levee system ahead of Tropical Storm Gordon.

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Potential Tropical Cyclone 7, which is expected to become Tropical Storm Gordon over the next 48-hours, has maximum sustained winds near 30 mph with higher gusts. A storm surge watch is in effect from just east of Morgan City to Shell Beach.

More than 4,000 Florida Power & Light customers lost power on Monday as a result of the weather. The region could see rising waters of 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 meters). Storm totals of 2 to 4 inches, locally up to six, are expected across a large area of Collier, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties where a Flood Watch continues through 11 pm.

Gordon grew in size and achieved tropical-storm-force winds remarkably fast.

In addition to flash flooding, the weather service says tornadoes are possible through Monday night across the southern and west-central Florida peninsula. Hurricane center experts still expect it to move northwest before it comes anywhere near Florida as it travels around the western edge of an area of high pressure.

The storm left many businesses on Florida's Gulf Coast feeling shortchanged by the holiday weekend.

A hurricane watch was in effect from the mouth of the Pearl River to the Alabama-Florida border.

Although some storm systems have been known to help dissipate Red Tide, it was unclear Monday how the churn from Gordon may affect the toxic algae bloom blanketing 130 miles of the southwest Florida coast. Maximum sustained winds were clocked at 85 km/h.