Tropics heating up as Florence now 3rd hurricane of 2018

Cristina Cross
September 5, 2018

As of 8 a.m., the National Hurricane Center said Gordon's intensity reached 65 miles per hour, heading in a northwesterly direction towards the MS and Alabama coasts at a fast 17 miles per hour. Some schools called off classes, and homeowners anxious that their yards could soon be submerged under seawater.

"We're expecting an increase in winds", Miller said in a phone interview.

Tropical Storm Gordon is strengthening fast as it roars across the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to hit the MS coast as a hurricane late on Tuesday.

The drier air that has been entrenched over Southeastern Louisiana for much of the afternoon is started to retreat to the west, so it is possible for a few of the rain bands to push through the North Shore and metro New Orleans during the evening and overnight hours bringing tropical storm force winds.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared states of emergency.

"I'm asking all residents to do their part in getting ready for this storm", New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a statement.

The NHC's hurricane warning covers all of coastal MS and Alabama, with a tropical storm warning reaching to Morgan City, Alabama, and Florida's Okaloosa-Walton County Line.

All tropical storm warnings were canceled for South Florida and the Florida Keys as Gordon moved away, but not until after it had battered the region with heavy rain and winds.

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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.

A storm surge warning was in effect for the area between Shell Beach, Louisiana, and Dauphin Island, Alabama, with predicted heights of up to 3-5 ft if the peak surge coincides with high tide.

Wilson says beachgoers shouldn't get into the Gulf of Mexico when red flags are flying along the beaches. More than 4,000 Florida Power & Light customers lost power Monday due to weather conditions.

But the storm was shifting eastward late on Tuesday, reducing its threat to producers on the western side of the Gulf and most Gulf Coast refineries.

This excessive rainfall "will cause flash flooding across portions of these areas", the NHC noted.

Gordon is expected to reach the Louisiana coast this evening and continue northwest during the night.

Gordon is expected to pass through the eastern edge of the Gulf's offshore oil and natural gas platforms where it will probably have little impact because it isn't that strong and will pass through the area quickly, according to the Commodity Weather Group.

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