(National Hurricane Center)
Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven near the upper Florida Keys has become Tropical Storm Gordon, the National Hurricane Center reported Monday morning (Sept. 3).
A tropical storm warning is now in effect for southeastern Louisiana, coastal Mississippi and surrounding marine areas.
The warning means tropical storm conditions are expected within the next 36 hours or less.
Surface observations from the Florida Keys and radar data indicate maximum sustained winds of around 45 mph.
At about 7:30 a.m., the storm was located about 20 miles west of Key Largo, Florida. It was moving west-northwest at 17 mph.
On the forecast track, the centre of Gordon will pass over the southern tip of the Florida peninsula Monday morning, move over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico during the afternoon and evening, and reach the warning area along the central Gulf Coast by late Tuesday or Tuesday night.
By mid-week, the National Weather Service reports, the disturbance is forecast to dump “heavy rainfall” along the central Gulf Coast.
The system is forecast to produce 4 to 6 inches of rain over southern Alabama, southern Mississippi and Louisiana, with isolated areas receiving up to 8 inches through early Thursday.