ORIGINAL STORY: As Tropical Storm Gordon barrels towards the Gulf Coast, folks in Northwest Florida could start feeling the effects of the system as early as this afternoon.
Storm surge of 1 to 5 feet will be possible along the MS and southeastern Louisiana coastline near landfall.
The National Weather Service said conditions were "possible" for tornadoes in the affected parts of South Florida on Monday night. The heavy rain is north and east of the center of the storm, or over MS and Alabama. But authorities issued a voluntary evacuation order for areas outside the city's levee protection system, including the Venetian Isles, Lake Saint Catherine and Irish Bayou areas.
The National Hurricane Center has continued a Hurricane Warning for the Alabama & Mississippi Gulf Coasts through Wednesday, with a Tropical Storm Warning along the coast of Louisiana & Florida. But forecasters warn that the storm, which is expected to achieve hurricane status by Sunday, is still far out in the Atlantic and could change course.
Tropical storm conditions - winds of at least 39 miles per hour - could hit the Gulf Coast earlier.
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The storm is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 4 to 8 inches over the western Florida Panhandle, southwest Alabama, southern and central MS, northeastern Louisiana, and southern Arkansas, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches through late Thursday, the NHC added.
Alex Sosnowski, of AccuWeather, said: "Fast movement and wind shear have been limiting the intensity of Gordon on Tuesday, but the storm will be monitored closely for strengthening into Tuesday evening as the water is quite warm". We're being told to expect rain and wind, and we're preparing accordingly. A Hurricane Warning is also in effect for portions of the northern Gulf coast.
The National Weather Service has posted flash flood watches for parts of southeastern Louisiana, southern and central MS, far southeastern Arkansas, southwestern Alabama and the western Florida Panhandle. Built after Hurricane Katrina, the home is made to withstand a 150 mile-an-hour wind, she said.
Friday: The low or what is left of Gordon will be moving into Missouri.
The National Hurricane Center said Gordon should weaken rapidly after it moves inland from the central Gulf Coast, but that doesn't diminish concerns about flooding. We will have pretty quiet weather across Southeast Louisiana this morning. The storm's predicted track had shifted slightly east, meaning Louisiana is now just outside the area under the hurricane warning.
A hurricane warning is in effect for all the Alabama and MS coast. In this scenario, the storm could be forced west and move toward the eastern US coast.