CBS/AP September 3, 2018, 8:37 AM Tropical Storm Gordon brings hurricane watch to Gulf Coast
Last Updated Sep 3, 2018 5:35 PM EDT
Tropical Storm Gordon is now expected to be a hurricane when it makes landfall late Tuesday on border of Alabama and the Florida panhandle, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Monday. As of 5 p.m. Monday, Gordon had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and was located about 50 miles west-southwest of Fort Myers, Florida.
The NHC expects tropical storm conditions will exist Monday night across southwestern Florida, and on Tuesday along parts of the Gulf Coast.
Gordon is expected to drop total rain accumulations of 4 to 6 inches over southern Alabama, southern and central Mississippi and southeastern and northeastern Louisiana, with isolated maximum amounts of 8 inches through late Thursday. Parts of Florida and Bahamas are expected to get 2 to 5 inches of rain.
The National Weather Service said that Naples, Marco Island, and Everglades City in Florida were among the locations that could expect hazardous weather over the next 36 hours.
In addition to flash flooding, the weather service says tornadoes are possible through Monday night across the southern and west-central Florida peninsula.
Meteorologist Danielle Niles of CBS Boston station WBZ says the threat along the Gulf Coast means heavy rain as well as storm surge.
Storm surges from 3 to 5 feet are expected from Shell Beach to the Mississippi-Alabama border, and from 2 to 4 feet from Navarre, Fla., to the Mississippi-Alabama border, and from Shell Beach to the mouth of Mississippi River. Southern Louisiana to the Texas border could see surges of 1 to 2 feet.
The storm threat comes amid major flooding in the Midwest, due to a slow-moving storm that has brought flash flood watches and warnings from Kansas to Nebraska, stretching to portions of Iowa and northern Illinois.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Florence continued to gain strength over the eastern Atlantic on Monday, about 980 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands.
Florence was moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph and maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. There are currently no coastal watches or warnings in effect.