Gordon Near Hurricane Strength Off NW Florida

posted by Gordon Byrd - 

Miami, Fla. (970 WFLA)- Tropical Storm Gordon is almost a hurricane, just hours away from an expected landfall on Mississippi's Gulf Coast. The Florida Panhandle is getting pounded with high winds and heavy rain. Here's the 5 pm advisory from the National Hurricane Center:

SUMMARY OF 400 PM CDT...2100 UTC...INFORMATION ---------------------------------------------- LOCATION...29.4N 87.8W ABOUT 95 MI...155 KM SE OF BILOXI MISSISSIPPI ABOUT 90 MI...145 KM S OF MOBILE ALABAMA MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...70 MPH...110 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 310 DEGREES AT 15 MPH...24 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1000 MB...29.53 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS -------------------- CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:
The Tropical Storm Warning has been discontinued west of the Mouth of the Mississippi River, including Lake Maurepas.
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... * West of the Mouth of the Pearl River to the Mouth of the Mississippi River, including Lake Pontchartrain * 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 ---------------------- At 400 PM CDT (2100 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Gordon was located by NOAA Doppler weather radars near latitude 29.4 North, longitude 87.8 West. Gordon is moving toward the northwest near 15 mph (24 km/h) and this general motion is expected to continue until landfall occurs tonight along the north-central Gulf coast. A northwestward motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected after landfall, with a gradual turn toward the north-northwest and north forecast to occur on Friday. On the forecast track, the center of Gordon will make landfall along the north-central Gulf Coast within the hurricane warning area this evening or tonight, and then move inland over the lower Mississippi Valley through Wednesday.
Data from NOAA Doppler weather radars indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 70 mph (110 km/h) with higher gusts. Some additional strengthening is still possible, and Gordon could become a hurricane before landfall occurs along the north-central Gulf Coast this evening. Rapid weakening is forecast after Gordon moves inland.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km) from the center.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 1000 mb (29.53 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND ---------------------- STORM SURGE:  The combination of a dangerous 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 water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide...
Mouth of the Pearl River to Dauphin Island...3 to 5 ft. Navarre Florida to Dauphin Island, including Mobile Bay...2 to 4 ft. Mouth of the Pearl River to the Mouth of Mississippi River...2 to 4 ft.
The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the east of the landfall location, where the surge will be accompanied by large waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances. For information specific to your area, please see products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.
RAINFALL:  Gordon is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 4 to 8 inches over the western Florida Panhandle, southwest Alabama, southern and central Mississippi, northeastern Louisiana, and southern Arkansas, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches through late Thursday. This rainfall will cause flash flooding across portions of these areas.
WIND:  Tropical storm conditions will spread onshore within portions of the warning area during the next few hours, with hurricane conditions expected by this evening in the hurricane warning area.
TORNADOES:  A couple of tornadoes are possible through tonight near the coasts of Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle.

Graphic Credit: NOAA

Tropical Storm Gordon 9-4 1700

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