Tropical Storm Gordon is anticipated to move into the warm Gulf of Mexico this afternoon and then strengthen while taking a West-northwest path toward the Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana coast. High probability will make landfall as a hurricane.
This storm will move fast while simultaneously strengthening. Residents in coastal west-FL Panhandle, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana would be well advised to be proactive, watch closely and begin initial hurricane preparation.
[Hurricane Advisory] At 200 PM EDT (1800 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Gordon was located near latitude 25.8 North, longitude 81.9 West. Gordon is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h) and a west-northwestward to northwestward motion is expected over the next 72 hours. On the forecast track, the center of Gordon will move farther away from the southwestern coast of Florida this afternoon and move across the eastern Gulf of Mexico tonight and Tuesday.
The center of Gordon will approach the coast within the warning area along the central Gulf Coast by late Tuesday or Tuesday night, and move inland over the lower Mississippi Valley on Wednesday.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 50 mph (85 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 36 hours, and Gordon is expected to be near hurricane strength when it makes landfall along the central Gulf Coast.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center. [Link to NOAA Hurricane Center]