Tropical Storm Gordon is forecast to strengthen to a category 1 hurricane before making landfall in the central Gulf Coast during the evening of Sept. 4.
The National Weather Service has issued hurricane, tropical storm and storm surge watches and warnings along the coasts of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, as well as the Florida panhandle.
Storm surge up to 4 feet is expected in the area from Navarre, Fla., to Dauphin Island, Ala., and from Shell Beach, La., to the mouth of the Mississippi River. Portions of land between Shell Beach and Dauphin Island may see surge as high as 5 feet.
Gordon's maximum sustained winds were 65 miles per hour as of the 1 p.m. CDT advisory from the National Hurricane Center. The storm is expected to have maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour, pushing it just above the official threshold for a hurricane, prior to making landfall.
Heavy rain may cause flash flooding in portions of the western Florida panhandle, southwestern Alabama, southern and central Mississippi, northeastern Louisiana and southern Arkansas. Rainfall totals could reach as high as 12 inches in some areas. A few tornadoes are also possible near the coasts of Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida panhandle.
The storm is forecast to weaken rapidly after it moves inland.