Tropical Cyclone Threatens South Florida, Takes Aim At Gulf Coast

“Tropical Storm Gordon formed over the Florida Keys Monday morning and is poised to bring very heavy rainfall to south Florida on this Labor Day. As Gordon pushes into the Gulf of Mexico this week, it will interact with anomalously warm waters as it churns toward the Gulf Coast.

All things considered, the track of Gordon is fairly high confidence, tracking toward the central Gulf Coast this week. Folks from eastern TX to FL should have a plan in place, regardless of intensity (Source/ @EdValleeWx)

While Gordon will have limited time to rapidly strengthen and will have less than ideal conditions to do so, it still warrants attention for its impacts. Heavy rains, minor storm surge, and gusty winds are all but certain as this system approaches the central Gulf Coast Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night, regardless of classification.

European EPS illustrating the flooding risk with Gordon and the stalled frontal boundary nearby. 80-90 percent chance of 5″+ rain next 10 days (Source/ @EdValleeWx)

Because of these risks, tropical storm warnings and hurricane watches have been issued for portions of the central Gulf Coast as of midday Monday. Upon landfall, this system may track northeastward into the ag belt, prompting more heavy rains in portions of the Midwest and Ohio Valley late this week into next weekend,” said meteorologist Ed Vallee of Vallee Weather Consulting.

Currently, Tropical Storm Gordon is advancing into the Gulf of Mexico as it continues to bring heavy rain and gusty winds to South Florida. The tropical cyclone is moving west-northwest at 16 miles per hour with sustained winds around 45 miles per hour. The Weather Channel reports that Gordon will head for the northern Gulf Coast landfall on Tuesday as a possible Category 1 hurricane.

Potential Tropical Cyclone Excessive Rainfall Outlook For South Florida 

Trajectory: Tropical Storm Gordon Heads Northwest

Global + Hurricane Models for Gordon 

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has now declared a hurricane watch from the Mouth of the Pearl River, Mississippi, to the border between Alabama and Florida. The NHC warns that a hurricane watch could mean hurricane-force winds (+74 miles per hour) for New Orleans to Mobile, Alabama, beginning late Tuesday or Tuesday night.

“Tropical storm warnings are posted for South Florida, from Golden Beach on the southeast coast to Bonita Beach on the southwest coast as well as the Keys from Craig Key to Ocean Reef. Tropical storm warnings are also posted from the Okaloosa-Walton County border in Florida westward to east of Morgan City, Louisiana, including Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas,” stated the Weather Channel.

US Active Weather Alerts Map

Some regions of the northern Gulf Coast could see 3 to 6 inches rainfall Tuesday-Wednesday, especially southeast Louisiana into south Mississippi and Alabama.

As a result, there could be severe flooding in New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama, metro areas. The NHC has posted a flash flood watch for parts of southeast Louisiana, southern Mississippi, and coastal Alabama.

Rainfall Forcast Through Thursday 

The NHC warned that water heights above ground during high tide could pose a serious threat to communities based on the water:

  • Shell Beach, Louisiana, to the Mississippi-Alabama border: 3 to 5 feet
  • Navarre, Florida, to the Mississippi-Alabama border: 2 to 4 feet
  • Shell Beach, Louisiana, to the Mouth of Mississippi River: 2 to 4 feet
  • Mouth of the Mississippi River to the Louisiana-Texas border: 1 to 2 feet

Gulf Coast Flooding Concerns 

As of Monday, tropical-storm-force winds (+39 miles per hour) are possible in the tropical storm warning area in South Florida. By late Tuesday, possible hurricane-force winds could arrive on the northern Gulf Coast. In the tropical storm warning map below, there is a high risk of downed trees and power outages for mainly the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Force Wind Probabilities For Gulf Coast 

How is social media reacting to the potential threats of Tropical Storm Gordon?

Palm Beach reporter tweets, “Strong rain band hitting Palm Beach from Tropical Storm Gordon”

A Twitter user in Boynton Beach shows a short video of heavy rain and strong winds

CBS12 reporter films heavy rain dumping onto the i-95

Surfers are taking advantage of waves at Haulover Beach

Viewing Gordon from a Miami highrise

Intense winds

Live Stream from Bayfront, Park, Florida

The NHC has just issued another alert this week for yet another storm brewing over the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Stay tuned for more developments.