Tropical Storm Gordon brings hurricane watch to US Gulf Coast

Tropical Storm Gordon brings hurricane watch to US Gulf Coast

With Gordon diminishing, there were new tropical weather concerns: Hurricane Florence has formed in the Atlantic Ocean, on a path toward Bermuda, and lining up behind it, another potential storm was likely to form not far off the coast of Africa. As much as 8 inches (20 centimetres) of rain could fall in some parts of the Gulf states through late Thursday.

Gordon became a tropical storm after having strengthened rapidly overnight, and late Monday afternoon, the National Weather Service issued a hurricane warning for the mouth of the Pearl River, which divides Louisiana and MS in the central Gulf.

A hurricane warning was put into effect for the area stretching from the mouth of the Pearl River in MS to the Alabama-Florida border.

Tropical Storm Gordon is now pounding south Florida with high winds and heavy rainfall. It will reach the U.S. Gulf coast by Tuesday night at the latest, these areas include the popular cruise ports in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Mobile, Alabama. In this zone, the water could rise up 3 to 5 feet above normally dry land at the coast.

8 P.M. UPDATE: Tropical Storm Gordon has intensified and now packs winds of 60 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said in its 8 p.m. advisory Monday.

A storm surge warning is in effect for Biloxi, Mississippi, to Dauphin Island. Hurricane force winds of greater than 74 miles per hour may be possible in some gusts.

In anticipation of heavy rains, the Flood Protection Authority-East (FPA) has closed 21 floodgates on the Lake Borgne Surge Barrier near New Orleans, according to a press release. Flash flood watches stretched from the Florida panhandle, through parts of southwest Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa and IL. Tropical Storm Warnings are also in effect for inland areas of Collier, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. "You don't want to take it lightly, of course", MacDonald said. Rapid weakening is forecast after Gordon moves inland, and Gordon is forecast to become a tropical depression on Wednesday.

The area has already been heavily impacted by this summer's so-called "red tide" - massive algae blooms that have caused waves of dead marine life to wash up along the coast.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning areas. The Gulf regions would face continuous rainfalls in the coming days due to the movement of the hurricane storm through the region.

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