Tropical Storm Gordon was rushing South Florida with heavy rain and strong winds on Monday and could strengthen the almost there hurricane as it moves toward the Louisiana Gulf Coast over the next two days, the National Hurricane Center said.
Warnings have already been posted for some parts of South Florida and the Florida Keys as well as areas of the northern Gulf Coast.
A hurricane watch has been posted for coastal areas of Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida and Alabama, which means that the hurricane conditions are possible within the 48 hours.
Strong wind gusts, battering waves, above-normal tides, minor coastal flooding, flash flooding and a couple of isolated tornadoes and waterspouts will be the main threats from the storm, AccuWeather said.
As of 11 am ET, gordon was estimated to have winds of 45 mph and was moving to the west-northwest at 16 mph. The center of the storm was located about 60 miles west-northwest of Key Largo, Florida.
On its current forecast track, the center of Gordon will move over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Monday afternoon and evening and reach the warning area along the central Gulf Coast by late Tuesday or Tuesday night, the hurricane center said.
The storm should make landfall with winds of about 60 mph. However, it could still reach hurricane status, which would be 74 mph, AccuWeather said.
“Any strong tropical storm has the potential to strengthen to a hurricane even when that storm may only spend a day or two over warm waters,” according to AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.