Miami, Fla.-(Newsradio 970 WFLA)-A HURRICANE WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR PORTIONS OF THE CENTRAL GULF COAST AND THE STORM SURGE WARNING IS EXTENDED EASTWARD.
The National Hurricane Center is now forecasting Tropical Storm Gordon to become a hurricane as it makes landfall along the upper Gulf of Mexico coast. The Tampa Bay area remains outside of the forecast cone.
SUMMARY OF INFORMATION -------- LOCATION...26.2N 82.6W ABOUT 50 MI...85 KM WSW OF FT. MYERS FLORIDA ABOUT 445 MI...715 KM ESE OF THE MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...50 MPH...85 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 300 DEGREES AT 17 MPH...28 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1006 MB...29.71 INCHES
WATCHES AND WARNINGS -------------------- CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:
The Storm Surge Warning has been extended eastward to Dauphin Island, Alabama.
A Hurricane Warning has been issued from the Mouth of the Pearl River to the Alabama-Florida Border. This warning replaces the Hurricane Watch and Tropical Storm Warning for this area.
The Tropical Storm Warning for the Upper Florida Keys and from Golden Beach to Chokoloskee, including Florida Bay, has been discontinued.
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for... * Shell Beach to Dauphin Island
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for... * West of Shell Beach to the Mouth of the Mississippi River * East of Dauphin Island to Navarre
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for... * Mouth of the Pearl River to the Alabama-Florida Border
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for... * Chokoloskee to Bonita Beach * West of the Mouth of the Pearl River to east of Morgan City, Louisiana, including Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas * Alabama-Florida Border to Okaloosa-Walton County Line
A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, in the indicated locations. For a depiction of areas at risk, please see the National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at hurricanes.gov. This is a life-threatening situation. Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions. Promptly follow evacuation and other instructions from local officials.
A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life- threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, in the indicated locations.
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning areas.
For storm information specific to your area, including possible inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.
DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK....The center of Tropical Storm Gordon was located by NOAA Doppler weather radars near latitude 26.2 North, longitude 82.6 West. Gordon is moving toward the west-northwest near 17 mph (28 km/h) and a west-northwestward to northwestward motion is expected over the next 72 hours. On the forecast track, the center of Gordon will move farther away from the southwestern coast of Florida early this evening, and move across the eastern Gulf of Mexico tonight and Tuesday. The center of Gordon will approach the central Gulf Coast within the warning area late Tuesday or Tuesday night, and move inland over the lower Mississippi Valley on Wednesday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph (85 km/h) with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is forecast during the next 36 hours, and Gordon is expected to be a hurricane when it makes landfall along the central Gulf Coast.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 1006 mb (29.71 inches) based on earlier reports from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft.
Graphic courtesy National Hurricane Center