Tropical Storm Gordon brings hurricane warning to Gulf Coast

Tropical Storm Gordon brings hurricane warning to Gulf Coast

As much as 8 inches of rain could fall in some parts of the Gulf states through late Thursday.

The storm was gaining strength and was expected to become a hurricane as it comes ashore late on Tuesday near the border between Louisiana and MS, and drop as much as 20cm of rain in some areas of the US South still reeling from hurricanes a year ago.

It's expected to make landfall along the Alabama or MS coast late Tuesday night or early Wednesday perhaps as a category one hurricane. This is a fast moving storm, which means that the impacts will be slightly less than if it was a system that moved slowly bringing constant high winds and storm surge to the coast. The storm was headed west-northwest at 17 miles per hour into the Gulf of Mexico and had maximum winds of 65 miles per hour.

The forecast now calls for Gordon to become a Category 1 Hurricane as it makes landfall along the Gulf.

The storm was lashing South Florida on Monday with high winds and heavy rains as it moved west-northwest at 16 miles per hour (26 kph).

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from the Okaloosa-Walton County Line and stretches from Golden Beach to Bonita Beach and from Craig Key to Ocean Reef, including Florida Bay.

Heavy flooding rainfall of two to six inches will be possible across all of South Mississippi.

The storm's predicted track had shifted slightly east as of Monday evening, meaning Louisiana is now just outside the area under the hurricane warning.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency warned of storm surges of between 1 and 1.5 metres and told South Mississippi residents to be prepared to evacuate.

Red flags flew over Pensacola-area beaches in Florida's Panhandle, where swimming and wading in the Gulf of Mexico was prohibited.

The Atlantic and Pacific oceans bordering the U.S. are in the midst of hurricane season, where hurricane Lane and Chris have already made landfall.

The storm is expected to cross from southwest Florida into the Gulf Coast later Monday afternoon.

A tropical storm warning is in effect along the southern Florida coast from Miami to Naples, and along the Gulf Coast from Pensacola, Florida to Morgan City, Louisiana. Forecasters say little change in strength is expected in coming days and no coastal watches or warnings are in effect.