Tropical Storm Gordon whipped the southern tip of Florida with high winds and rain on Monday, and was expected to have strengthened into a hurricane by the time it makes landfall along the central U.S. Gulf Coast on Tuesday night, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
The hurricane warning for Gordon was issued for the area of the central Gulf coast, from the Florida-Alabama border to the mouth of the Pearl River, which separates MS and Louisiana, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida make up the southern part of the United States coastline around the Gulf of Mexico, where the storm has just passed.
All tropical storm warnings were canceled for South Florida and the Florida Keys as Gordon moved away, but not until after it had battered the region with heavy rain and winds.
Gordon is moving at 16mph and is expected to hit Louisiana by 1am BST Wednesday (8pm Tuesday EDT). The area already has been impacted heavily by this summer's so-called "red tide"- massive algae blooms that have caused waves of dead marine life to wash along the coast.
In addition to Gordon, Tropical Storm Florence is hovering over the eastern Atlantic but is not expected to make landfall.
After forming near the Florida Keys Monday morning and moving west-northwest into the Gulf of Mexico, Gordon brought winds of almost 50 miles per hour and sometimes heavy rains over Tampa Bay by midday.
Rain has drenched the Miami area as Tropical Storm Gordon moved into the Gulf of Mexico on Monday.
Red flags flew over Pensacola-area beaches in Florida's Panhandle, where swimming and wading in the Gulf of Mexico was prohibited.
"The combination of a risky storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline", the NHC forecast warns.
The hurricane center also is monitoring a tropical wave a few hundred miles south-southeast of the Cabo Verde Islands.
SunHerald.com will update this report when the National Weather Service gives an updated forecast.
A hurricane watch - meaning that hurricane conditions are possible - was put into effect for the area stretching from the mouth of the Pearl River in MS to the Alabama-Florida border. More than 4,000 Florida Power & Light customers lost power Monday due to weather conditions.
Flooding from rainfall may call for evacuations in some areas in Southwest Mississippi, mainly west of Interstate 55, and north of I-10 in Southeast Louisiana.
Right now, the storm is moving steadily northwest at a speed of about 16 miles per hour.
A Hurricane Watch is in effect from the Mouth of the Pearl River to the Alabama-Florida Border.