Tropical Storm Gordon takes aim at Gulf after soaking South Florida

Tropical depression may form in the Gulf of Mexico this week

The area of greatest risk Monday night will shift to the west coast of Florida from Tampa to Fort Meyers as Tropical Storm Gordon begins to pull away.

The watch covers waters between 20 and 60 nautical miles offshore.

The warning is related to potential Tropical Cyclone 7 which, if it organizes into a tropical storm, will become Tropical Storm Gordon.

A storm surge warning is in effect for Biloxi, Mississippi, to Dauphin Island.

The National Hurricane Center predicted a "life-threatening" storm surge along parts of the central Gulf Coast, and as much as 8 inches of rain could fall in some parts of the Gulf states through late Thursday as the tropical weather moves over the lower Mississippi Valley.

Tropical Storm Gordon lashed South Florida with heavy rains and high winds on Monday and is expected to strengthen into a hurricane when it hits the central U.S. Gulf Coast.

Gordon formed into a tropical storm early Monday near the Florida Keys. As of now it has maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour, and is bringing rounds of heavy rain and gusty winds to southern Florida. "Afterward, gradual strengthening is forecast through the weekend".

Residents in parts of South Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana are being warned to prepare for tropical storm-force winds and possibly isolated tornadoes.

Upper-level wind shear is now too high to support a tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico, but wind shear is forecasted to decrease as the wave moves into the Gulf.

Tropical Storm Gordon is the Atlantic basin's seventh named storm of the year. Many schools in the New Orleans metro area remained closed Wednesday.

Tropical storm warnings extend to the west to around New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain and to the east over the western Florida panhandle.

As of 7am Sunday, the National Hurricane Center has place medium, 50% chance odds for tropical development over the next 48 hours.

The Florida Public Radio Emergency Network will continue to monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Gordon and provide updates in this story, via our Facebook and Twitter accounts, or in the mobile app Florida Storms.

Several storm systems will bring flash flooding to the eastern US from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes.

If the system were to get a name, it would most likely be late Monday night or on Tuesday, when it will have already passed over Southwest Florida. Farther west, tides will be 2-4 feet above normal. "Coastal flood advisories or warnings may be needed late Monday through midweek".

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