EYE ON THE TROPICS: Tropical Storm Gordon strengthens as it moves away from Florida

Tropical Storm Watches posted for central Gulf coast for Potential Cyclone 7

8 p.m. update

Tropical Storm Gordon strengthened as it moved away from Florida on Monday evening, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of up to 60 mph, chief meteorologist Tom Terry said.

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A hurricane warning is in effect for coastal Mississippi and Alabama, Terry said.

The heaviest weather will move away from Central Florida overnight, he said.

5 p.m. update

The Gulf of Mexico's warm waters enabled Tropical Storm Gordon to maintain its strength late Monday afternoon, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

The storm -- which has sustained winds of 50 mph as it moves west-northwest at 17 mph -- could be a category 1 hurricane by the time it makes landfall between Biloxi, Mississippi, and New Orleans late Tuesday or early Wednesday, chief meteorologist Tom Terry said.

A hurricane warning has been issued for the central Gulf Coast, from the mouth of the Pearl River to the Alabama/Florida border.

UPDATE: Monday 2:30 p.m.

Tropical Storm Gordon is churning toward the Gulf of Mexico, but not before drenching South Florida with heavy rain and strong wind.

The National Hurricane Center said the storm is strengthening, with maximum winds reaching 50 miles per hour.

The storm is expected to move into the Gulf of Mexico before strengthening and hitting the Louisiana and Mississippi coast Tuesday.

Several Tropical Storm watches and warnings have been issues for Florida's southwest coast and the northern Gulf coast. Some counties on the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts have issues Hurricane watches and warnings.

The worst of the storm is still expected to miss Central Florida, but could still bring rain, thunderstorms.

Certified Chief Meteorologist Tom Terry is tracking Tropical Storm Gordon and how it could impact Central Florida. Watch for live coverage starting on Eyewitness News at 4 p.m.

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Monday 11 a.m.

The newly formed Tropical Storm Gordon is bringing heavy wind and rain to South Florida, but Central Florida is still expected to avoid a direct hit.

The National Hurricane Center said the storm has maximum winds of 45 miles per hour as it skirts past South Florida, prompting Tropical Storm and Flood watches on the state's southwest coast.

The storm will continue to strengthen as it moves off Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico, the NHC said.

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WATCH LIVE: Eye on the Tropics: Tropical Storm Gordon

EYE ON THE TROPICS: Tropical Storm Gordon lashes South Florida just hours after forming over the Keys. The storm is not expected to threaten Central Florida. (No sound) READ MORE: at.wftv.com/2CbOu0X

Posted by WFTV Channel 9 on Monday, September 3, 2018

Monday 8:10 a.m.

Tropical Storm Gordon has officially formed as it barrels toward the Florida coast.

The storm formed near the Upper Florida Keys with maximum winds of 45 miles per hour. The National Weather Service has issued storm warnings for portions of South Florida and the Florida Keys.

The storm is expected to impact south Florida and parts of the state’s southwest coast before moving into the Gulf of Mexico and reaching the coast of Louisiana and Mississippi on Tuesday.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Monday that Tropical Storm Gordon is likely to batter south and southwest Florida with heavy rains. A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for a portion of the Mississippi-Alabama border.

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Original Story: Sunday 5 p.m.

A tropical system just off the Florida coast will likely become a tropical depression or even Tropical Storm Gordon by Monday morning.
The vigorous tropical wave is becoming much better organized as it moves toward an area where conditions are more favorable to aid further development.
On Sunday afternoon, the tropical wave, currently located just south of Central Bahamas, is set to continue moving north-northeast at about 15 mph, crossing the Florida Straits on Labor Day and producing high rainfall over the Keys and South Florida.
Tropical storm watches have already been issued for parts of the Gulf Coast states, from coastal Alabama to eastern Louisiana.

Central Florida's most accurate forecast

Labor Day and Tuesday: The flooding chances increase

As the tropical system travels over the Florida Straits, there will be much more moisture across the southern half of Florida. Central Florida will also be under deep tropical moisture, and although we do not forecast rainfall as high as in South Florida, rain coverage and amounts over Central Florida will be above average Monday and Tuesday.

Rainfall will be between 1-3 inches, with higher isolated amounts. Due due to the thick layers of clouds, temperatures will remain in the upper-80s on Labor Day and Tuesday, with the winds shifting mainly from the south and bringing in much more humidity.
East coast beach conditions: Wave heights & winds
Red tide across Southwest Florida
Across southwestern Florida's beaches, the high concentration of toxic algal bloom, the red tide, continues to be a concern. Make sure to stay away from the waters. Red tide can be dangerous for people with respiratory problems and can be fatal.
Our Channel 9 team of meteorologists will monitor the evolution of this system and keep you updated through the holiday weekend.
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