"While were not expecting any sustained tropical storm force winds, any one of these showers can produce winds of 30, 40, 45 miles per hour".
Tropical Storm Gordon has formed just south of Miami, drenching southern Florida with heavy rain and gust winds. The storm is expected to reach hurricane strength when it hits the Gulf Coast, including coastal MS, by late Tuesday. A tropical storm warning was also in effect from the Okaloosa-Walton County border west to Morgan City, Louisiana. It had maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour, with the system moving northwest at 14 miles per hour.
Gordon was generating winds of 50 miles per hour (80 km per hour) on Monday as it steamed west-northwest at 16 mph (27 kph), 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.
The local forecast shows the potential for a peak storm surge of 2 to 4 feet above ground in surge-prone areas through early Thursday afternoon.
"Any time you get a tropical cyclone in the Gulf production region there could be some disruption, " said Steve Silver, a senior meteorologist at Radiant Solutions in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami says a new tropical storm in the eastern Atlantic will strengthen throughout the weekend but does not now threaten land. The storm is now threatening the Florida Panhandle and Gulf Coast with rain, wind and waves. The center issued storm surge warnings from Shell Beach, La.to the MS border with Alabama. The storm could come ashore in southeastern Louisiana late Tuesday or early Wednesday. A Storm Surge Watch has been extended eastward from the Mississippi-Alabama border to Navarre, Florida. Isolated tornadoes are possible.
While it is still too early to pinpoint the exact landfall point, southeast Louisiana from the mouth of the MS all the way to Pensacola, FL lie in the cone of uncertainty with this system. As it approached the upper Florida Keys, it strengthened and was reclassified.