A tropical storm warning has been issued for portions of South Florida with heavy rain predicted after a disturbance officially formed into a cyclone, says the National Hurricane Center.
In an advisory this morning, the NHC said the warning is in effect for the southern tip of the state, stretching from Golden Beach on the east coast to Bonita Beach on the west coast.
The warning is also in effect for the northern section of the Florida Keys, from Craig Key to Ocean Reef and including Florida Bay, the advisory states. A tropical storm warning means tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within these warning areas.
According to the NHC, Tropical Storm Gordon is moving toward the west-northwest at nearly 17 miles per hour. A change in motion toward west-northwestward is expected over the next 72 hours.
“On the forecast track, the center of Gordon will pass over the southern tip of the Florida peninsula this morning, move over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico this afternoon and evening, and reach the warning area along the central Gulf Coast by late Tuesday or Tuesday night,” the NHC said.
“Surface observations and radar data indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 45 miles per hour with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center.”
Gordon is predicted to cause a storm surge and flooding in normally dry areas near the coast. Rising waters may move inland from the shoreland, the NHC said. The water could reach 1 to 2 ft in height in areas between Destin Florida and Mississippi-Alabama border, 2 to 4 ft in high between Mouth of the Mississippi River to the Louisiana-Texas border.
“The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the east of the landfall location, where the surge will be accompanied by large waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances,” the NHC said.
As for wind and rainfall, Gordon is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches over the central and northwestern Bahamas, the Florida Keys, and South Florida through early Tuesday.
“Isolated maximum amounts of 8 inches are possible over the southern Florida peninsula. These rainfall amounts may cause flash flooding,” the NHC said.