Tropical Storm Gordon takes aim at Gulf after soaking South Florida

UPDATE: Gusty showers hitting southern Palm Beach County as Gordon passes

4 near the border between Louisiana and MS, and drop as much as 8 inches (20 cm) of rain in some areas of the U.S. South still reeling from hurricanes a year ago.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm is expected to move away from the southwestern Florida coast and reach coastal MS and Louisiana by late Tuesday. Its tropical storm-force winds, as high as 70 mph, extended up to 80 miles from Gordon's center and were affecting the coastlines in Alabama and Florida's western Panhandle. Gordon was moving 15 miles per hour northwest with maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour.

Gordon should make landfall Tuesday night along or near the MS coast (see Fig. 4).

Tropical Storm Gordon now sits about 50 miles west of Fort Myers, Florida.

Authorities across the Gulf Coast urged people to stay out of the water - warnings that beach lovers like Cameron Armstrong and Matthew Ewbanks ignored on their visit to Gulf Shores on the Alabama Gulf Coast.

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.

A storm surge warning has been issued from Shell Beach, Louisiana, to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

Conditions should improve along the coast during the day Wednesday, while heavy rain expands inland through western MS, northeast Louisiana, and southeast Arkansas.

The National Hurricane Centre is also tracking Tropical Storm Olivia and Hurricane Norman in the eastern Pacific. Scattered showers and thunderstorms were expected to continue through Tuesday as the storm intensified but moved away from central Florida, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Dustin Norman.

After periods of heavy rainfall, flood advisories were in effect for parts of South Florida late Monday. Tropical storm warnings for the interior counties.

The storm left many businesses on Florida's Gulf Coast feeling shortchanged by the holiday weekend.

"We're asking people to do the same things that we're doing: prepare", Biloxi Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich said in a statement.

Gordon started out as an atmospheric disturbance in an area of low pressure, known as a tropical wave, which frequently become tropical storms. Forecasters say little change in strength is expected in coming days and no coastal watches or warnings are in effect.

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