Science

Tropical Storm Gordon tracks toward central Gulf coast; landfall expected tonight

If the current track holds that will put Alabama on the east side of Gordon as it makes landfall, which is where a lot of the action will be as far as wind, rain and tornadoes go.

Parts of the Louisiana and MS coasts were under a hurricane warning as fast-developing Tropical Storm Gordon swamped South Florida on its way to the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Gordon was about 70 miles south of Mobile, Ala., and moving northwesterly at 14 mph, according to an 8 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

A tropical storm watch has been issued for portions of the central Gulf Coast from the Alabama-Florida line westward to almost Morgan City, Louisiana. The storm was headed west-northwest at 17 miles per hour into the Gulf of Mexico and had maximum winds of 65 miles per hour. But it's expected to make landfall Tuesday night in the northern Gulf Coast as only a Category 1 hurricane.

Gordon was expected to strengthen into a hurricane just before making landfall in MS sometime Tuesday or Wednesday.

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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.

A view of the waves at the Dania Beach Pier as Tropical Storm Gordon passes by South Florida with wind gusts and heavy rainfall on September 3, 2018.

As a precaution, Governor Edwards confirmed 200 members of the Louisiana National Guard will be sent to the southeastern portion of the state on Tuesday morning.

A storm surge watch is in effect from the Mississippi-Alabama border westward to the mouth of the Mississippi River. Gordon is expected to produce rain accumulations of 4 to 6 inches over southern Alabama, southern MS and Louisiana, with some isolated areas receiving up to 8 inches, through early Thursday. 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.

The storm is expected to cross from southwest Florida into the Gulf Coast later Monday afternoon.

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Jenna Wright, owner of a coffee shop in Naples, Florida, told the Naples Daily News that she had expected higher numbers for the Labor Day weekend.

Meteorologist Danielle Niles of CBS' Boston station WBZ says the threat along the Gulf Coast means heavy rain as well as storm surge.

A storm surge warning was in effect for the area between Shell Beach, Louisiana, and Dauphin Island, Alabama, with predicted heights of up to 3 to 5 feet if the peak surge coincides with high tide. Excessive rainfall totals will be experienced well inland (see Fig. 3). There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

The hurricane center also is monitoring a tropical wave a few hundred miles south-southeast of the Cabo Verde Islands.

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