Heavy rain hits Florida as Gulf Coast braces for looming tropical storm

144600 5day cone no line and wind

Until then, the tropical storm could cause unsafe storm surge, strong winds, and flash flooding along the Gulf Coast from the tip of Florida to eastern Texas.

Weather forecasters believe Tropical Storm Gordon will strengthen to a hurricane late Tuesday right as it hits the central US Gulf Coast.

In the meantime, the tropical storm is pelting south Florida, the Florida Keys with heavy rain and wind. Some gradual strengthening is expected, and it's forecast Gordon will be a low-end, Category 1 hurricane at landfall late tonight or early Wednesday. Maximum sustained winds were clocked at 60 miles per hour (95 kph). Beachgoers in the area were warned Wednesday of unsafe rip currents that prompted red-flag warnings, meaning it was illegal to enter the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Weather Service said current conditions were "somewhat favorable" for tornadoes in affected parts of South Florida on Monday. Conditions were expected to deteriorate westward to New Orleans as the stormed closed in on the coast, possibly becoming the second hurricane to hit the region in less than a year.

A slow-moving storm system is causing heavy rain and flooding from Kansas to IL.

Tropical storm warnings have been posted for portions of South Florida and the Florida Keys, as well as portions of the northern Gulf Coast.

A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for waters offshore of Apalachicola west to Walton/Okaloosa Counties.

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A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, during the next 36 hours in the indicated locations.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency Monday and said 200 National Guard troops will be deployed to the southeastern part of the state.

Areas under a storm surge watch and storm surge warning.

The warning covers all of coastal MS and Alabama, the National Hurricane Center said.

New concerns: Hurricane Florence has formed in the Atlantic Ocean, on a path toward Bermuda, and lining up behind it, another potential storm was likely to form not far off the coast of Africa. In this zone, the water could rise up 3 to 5 feet above normally dry land at the coast.

A storm surge covered barrier islands as the storm blew through, and some inland roadways were flooded by the rain.

The National Hurricane Centre is also tracking Tropical Storm Olivia and Hurricane Norman in the eastern Pacific.

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