After hitting South Florida on Labor Day Monday, Tropical Storm Gordon moved into the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday where the storm intensified and is forecast to make landfall as a hurricane when it makes landfall in Mississippi, USA Today reports.
Both Mississippi and Louisiana saw a state of emergency declared as schools were closed and the national guard deployed ahead of the expected landfall. There was also intense monitoring of the storm from the states of Alabama, Florida, and Texas.
The storm has been labeled as "life-threatening" by the National Hurricane Center, while also issuing an advisory for tornadoes in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. The official hurricane warning runs from the Mississippi-Louisiana border to the Alabama-Florida border.
South Florida has already felt Gordon, as a Tropical Storm, inundating the Florida Keys and much of the south of the state with hours of rain, impeding people's holiday Monday plans, and is expected to have an even bigger impact on the Gulf Coast. The storm is forecast to hit the Gulf Coast late on Tuesday as a hurricane and then move inland to the Mississippi Valley on Wednesday.
"Fast movement and wind shear should limit the intensity of Gordon, but the storm will be monitored closely as the water is quite warm," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said to USA Today.On Tuesday morning, the storm had reached sustained winds of 65 mph, only 9 miles per hour short of the mark needed to be classed as a Category 1 hurricane while still 190 miles away from making landfall. The storm could drop as much as 8 inches of rain in some areas of its path, with storm surges expected in coastal areas.
The original path of Gordon suggested it could hit Louisiana; the path appears to have turned, heading towards Alabama and Mississippi, however that doesn't mean that Louisiana will not see effects of it, with flooding expected along the southeast Louisiana coast whether or not the storm directly impacts the area.
Following an unusually quiet August, which saw no Atlantic hurricanes for the first time since 2013, forecasters have warned that things are about to change with much more activity expected in September, with Gordon just the first of many expected this month. That would be in line with usual patterns in hurricane season with September typically the most active month, with last year's very active season seeing Irma, Jose, Katia, and Maria all hitting in September.