Tropical Storm Gordon threatens Gulf Coast, hurricane warning in place

Tropical Storm Gordon threatens Gulf Coast, hurricane warning in place

Tropical Storm Gordon threatens Gulf Coast, hurricane warning in place

The center says the system will gradually strengthen and is expected to become a tropical depression sometime Monday and a tropical storm by Monday evening.

We will continue to keep you updated on the forecast for Tropical Storm Gordon online and on the WMAZ Facebook page.

The hurricane warning for Gordon was issued for the area of the central Gulf coast, from the Florida-Alabama border to the mouth of the Pearl River, which separates MS and Louisiana, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Tropical Storm Gordon has picked up steam as it moves away from Florida in the Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane warnings are now in effect until further notice for coastal MS and tropical storm warnings remain in effect for the rest of the viewing area.

In addition to Florence, forecasters also were watching a tropical wave off the west coast of Africa. The region produces about 5 percent of USA natural gas and 17 percent of crude oil, according to the Energy Information Administration.

While the 2018 hurricane season has been a quiet one for the Cape Fear coast so far, September - and even October (Hurricane Hazel in 1954) - has historically been a busy time for tropical weather systems to menace the Wilmington area. There are already flash flood warnings out in the region due to another weather system.

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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.

Winds in the area are expected to fall between 10-20 miles per hour.

Gordon's winds and rain come just two weeks after Monroe County began a $49.2 million project to remove tons of debris left by Hurricane Irma a year ago in canals in the Keys.

Tropical Storm Gordon formed over the Florida Keys early Monday morning and continued its steady march toward the north central Gulf Coast.

At 11 a.m. the National Hurricane Center in Miami said that the storm was centered 60 miles west-northwest of Key Largo and 50 miles south-southeast of Marco Island. A storm surge watch is in effect from just east of Morgan City to Shell Beach.

Officials say maximum sustained winds are near 50 miles per hour (85 kph) with higher gusts.

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