Tropical Storm Gordon Approaching Northern Gulf Coast, Expected to Make Landfall as a Hurricane Tonight; Hurricane, Storm Surge Warnings Issued.
The National Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane warning from the mouth of the Pearl River, Mississippi, to the border between Alabama and Florida.
— Natural Crisis (@Natural_Crisis) September 4, 2018
A hurricane warning means hurricane-force winds (74-plus mph) are expected in the area indicated beginning this evening.
Forecasters expect Tropical Storm Gordon to strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane before making landfall along the Gulf Coast late Tuesday (September 4) night. The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning along the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama.
While Gordon bears down on the Gulf Coast, many residents don’t seem very concerned as they start preparing for the potential of flooding rains and high winds.
“This is kind of routine to some degree,” Kenny Macdonald told Fox News as he filled sandbags. “You don’t know what the intensity of the storm is going to be. You don’t want to take it lightly, of course.”
Gordon is expected to lose power quickly once it makes landfall, but even with weaker winds, the storm is expected to dump up to eight inches of rain, which can cause major flooding, especially in areas prone to storm surges.
As a precaution, the governors of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana all declared states of emergency before the storm hits, allowing them to quickly deploy the National Guard.
Gordon is currently centered about 130 miles south-southeast of Mobile, Alabama. Gordon’s forward speed is relatively fast for a tropical cyclone, generally from 15 to 20 mph.
After making landfall, forecasters predict that Gordon will continue to move northwest toward Arkansas
Tropical storm warnings are posted from west of the mouth of the Pearl River, Mississippi, to east of Grand Isle, Louisiana, including Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas, as well as from the Alabama-Florida border to the Okaloosa-Walton County line in Florida.
A tropical storm warning is typically issued when tropical-storm-force winds (39-plus mph) are expected in 36 hours or less – by this afternoon, in this case.
Residents along the northern Gulf Coast should rush preparations to completion before conditions begin deteriorating this afternoon.
Gordon’s heavier rainbands have reached the coast of the western Florida Panhandle but have cleared the rest of the Florida Peninsula.
Winds will continue to increase as Gordon approaches the northern Gulf Coast into tonight.
Gordon is forecast to be a Category 1 hurricane near the time it makes landfall on the northern Gulf Coast tonight, most likely along the Mississippi Gulf coast. Given a tropical cyclone’s strongest winds are usually on its eastern side, that’s why the National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning for parts of the Mississippi and Alabama coasts.
Gulf Coast Impacts
The heaviest rainfall from Gordon is expected to occur generally along or to the east of its track from the northern Gulf Coast to parts of Arkansas through Thursday. Localized totals up to 12 inches are possible in some areas.
The line-up: Gordon expected to make landfall tonight along northern Gulf Coast as low-end hurricane. or strong tropical storm…Florence varies from tropical storm to hurricane with no affect to land through the weekend…disturbance off Africa could be Helene within 5 days. pic.twitter.com/Q6mzhb60sB
— Dan Bickford (@BickfordWX) September 4, 2018
Local flash flooding and some river flooding is a good bet in this region, spreading from south to north late today into Thursday, including the Mobile, Alabama, and Jackson, Mississippi, metro areas.
Flash flood watches have been posted by the National Weather Service for parts of southeastern Louisiana, southern and central Mississippi, far southeastern Arkansas, southwestern Alabama and the western Florida Panhandle.
Separate flash flood watches are in effect in southeastern Texas due to heavy rain from another weather system affecting that region.