It’s nothing like the destruction that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma wrought about a year ago, but Tropical Storm Gordon is currently drenching parts of Florida as it threatens to strengthen into a Hurricane on its way towards the coastlines of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
While the storm’s maximum sustained wind speeds of 50 miles per hour are below the hurricane threshold as of Monday afternoon, an eyewall looks to be trying to form that could foreshadow a more powerful storm.
— Eric Holthaus (@EricHolthaus) September 3, 2018
The National Weather Service has issued a Hurricane Watch for a large section of the Gulf Coast between Louisiana and Florida, where the storm could make landfall by Tuesday evening.
In an update Monday afternoon, National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham warned that tropical moisture flowing northward from Gordon in the Gulf of Mexico could dump heavy rain on not just the Gulf Coast states, but even as far north as Kansas and Iowa. Over the course of the next week, many areas could see a cumulative total of between four and eight inches of rain.
According to the National Hurricane Center forecast, the entire Gulf Coastline from the Florida/Alabama border to the Texas/Louisiana border can expect two to six inches of rain between today and Thursday morning.
“The number one killer when it comes to these tropical systems is storm surge and the rain,” said Graham.
He says three to five feet of storm surge are also possible along sections of the Louisiana and Mississippi coast and that 15-foot waves are possible further out to sea in the Gulf of Mexico.
A look at ship traffic in the Gulf showed most avoiding the track of the storm, but plenty out at sea to the west of the storm that could be affected.