Tropical Storm Gordon was pounding South Florida with heavy rain and strong winds on Monday and could strengthen to near-hurricane force as it moves toward the Louisiana Gulf Coast over the next two days, the National Hurricane Center said.
Tropical storm warnings have been posted for portions of South Florida and the Florida Keys, as well as portions of the northern Gulf Coast.
A hurricane watch has also been posted for coastal areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, meaning that hurricane conditions are possible there within the next 48 hours.
Strong wind gusts, battering waves, above-normal tides, minor coastal flooding, flash flooding and a couple of isolated tornadoes and waterspouts will be the main threats from the storm, AccuWeather said.
As of 11 a.m. ET, Gordon had winds of 45 mph and was moving to the west-northwest at 16 mph. The center of the storm was located about 60 miles west-northwest of Key Largo, Florida.
On its current forecast track, the center of Gordon will move over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Monday afternoon and evening and reach the warning area along the central Gulf Coast by late Tuesday or Tuesday night, the hurricane center said.
Parts of the northern Gulf Coast could see 3 to 6 inches rainfall Tuesday into Wednesday, from southeast Louisiana into far southern Mississippi and far southern Alabama, according to the Weather Channel. Localized totals of 6 inches or more are possible in some areas.
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SOURCE: USA Today, Doyle Rice