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Powerful Hurricane Michael Nearing North Florida

Powerful hurricane Michael was nearing north Florida on Wednesday morning.  Michael intensified rapidly to Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale during the overnight hours.  At 8:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Hurricane Michael was located at latitude 29.0°N and longitude 86.3°W which put it about 90 miles south-southwest of Panama City, Florida.  Michael was moving toward the north at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 145 m.p.h. (230 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 170 m.p.h. (275 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 933 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from the Alabama-Florida border to Suwanee River, Florida.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the portions of the coast from the Alabama-Florida border to the Alabama-Mississippi border and from Suwanee River to Chassahowitzka, Florida.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the Atlantic Coast from Fernandina Beach, Florida to Surf City, North Carolina.  Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for the portions of the coast from the Alabama-Mississippi border to the Mouth of the Pearl River and from Chassahowitzka to Anna Maria Island, Florida.  A Tropical Storm Watch was also in effect from Surf City to Duck, North Carolina including Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

Hurricane Michael intensified rapidly during the past 12 hours.  An eye with a diameter of 20 miles (32 km) is surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms.  The strongest winds are occurring in that ring of storms.  Storms near the core of Hurricane Michael are generating strong upper level divergence which is pumping large quantities of mass away from the hurricane.  The removal of mass allowed the surface pressure to decrease rapidly to 933 mb.

Winds to hurricane force extend out about 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) from the center of Hurricane Michael.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 185 miles (290 km) from the center of circulation.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Michael is 29.9.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 16.1 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) is 46.0.  Hurricane Michael is capable of causing regional significant damage.

Hurricane Michael is stronger than any other hurricane to hit north Florida in the historical record.  Michael is similar in intensity to what Hurricane Charley was when Charley hit southwest Florida in 2004.  Hurricane Michael is bigger than Charley was in 2004.

An upper level trough over the Central U.S. and a subtropical high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean are combining to steer Hurricane Michael toward the north.  The trough will turn Michael toward the northeast when it reaches the coast.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Michael will make landfall near Panama City and Port St. Joe, Florida in about six hours.

Hurricane Michael will bring destructive winds to the coast of north Florida.  The strongest winds will be near the center and east of the center.  Those winds will push water toward the coast and a storm surge of 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 meters) will occur east of where the center of Michael makes landfall.  The coast of the northeast Gulf of Mexico is very vulnerable to storm surges and significant damage will occur.

The center of Hurricane Michael will move between Dothan, Alabama and Tallahassee, Florida.  It will pass near Albany, Georgia and then move south of Macon, Georgia.  The center of Michael could move near Columbia, South Carolina and then it could exit the East Coast of the U.S. near Norfolk, Virginia.

Michael will bring hurricane force winds to northeast Florida, extreme southeast Alabama and southern Georgia.  There will be widespread power outages.  Winds to tropical storm force will occur in South Carolina and North Carolina.  Hurricane Michael will drop locally heavy rain when it moves inland.  The wind and rain will disrupt efforts to recover from the effects of Hurricane Florence in South Carolina and North Carolina.

Michael Strengthens to a Major Hurricane

Hurricane Michael strengthened into a major hurricane on Tuesday afternoon.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Hurricane Michael was located at latitude 26.0°N and longitude 86.4°W which put it about 290 miles (470 km) south of Panama City, Florida.  Michael was moving toward the north at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 140 m.p.h. (225 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 957 mb.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwanee River, Florida.  Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for the portions of the coast from the Alabama-Florida border to the Alabama-Mississippi border, from Suwanee River to Chassahowitzka, Florida and from Fernandina Beach, Florida to South Santee River, South Carolina on the Atlantic Coast.  Tropical Storm Watches are in effect for the portions of the coast from the Alabama-Mississippi border to the Mouth of the Pearl River, from Chassahowitzka to Anna Maria Island, Florida and from South Santee, River South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina including Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

The inner core of Hurricane Michael tightened on Tuesday afternoon.  The diameter of the eye decreased from 30 miles (50 km) to 22 miles (35 km).  The ring of thunderstorms around the eye tightened around the smaller eye and the strongest winds were closer to the center of circulation.  Storms around the core of Michael were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the hurricane.  The removal of mass allowed the surface pressure to decrease from 965 mb to 957 mb during the past six hours.

Winds to hurricane force extend out about 45 miles (75 km) from the center of Hurricane Michael.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 170 miles (280 km) from the center of circulation.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Michael is 22.1.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 14.6 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) is 36.7.  Hurricane Michael is capable of causing regional major damage.

Hurricane Michael will move through an environment favorable for intensification for another 12 to 18 hours.  Michael will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  An upper level trough over the Central U.S. is producing westerly winds which are blowing toward the top of Hurricane Michael, but those winds are not causing enough vertical wind shear to prevent intensification.  Hurricane Michael could intensify to Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale before it makes landfall.

Hurricane Michael is moving between a subtropical high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean and the upper level trough over the Central U.S.  Those two weather systems are steering Michael toward the north and that general motion is expected to continue for another 12 hours.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Michael will make landfall near Panama City and Port St. Joe, Florida early on Wednesday afternoon.  The upper level trough will steer Michael more toward the northeast after it makes landfall.  The center of Michael is likely to move between Dothan, Alabama and Tallahassee, Florida and it could pass near Albany, Georgia.

Hurricane Michael will bring strong winds to northwest Florida, extreme southeast Alabama and southern Georgia.  There will be wind damage and widespread power outages could occur.  The coast of the northeastern Gulf of Mexico is very vulnerable to storm surges.  Hurricane Michael will produce a storm surge of 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 meters) at some points along the coast.  Michael will drop locally heavy rain.  Although Hurricane Michael will weaken when it moves inland, it will bring gusty winds and heavy rain to South Carolina and North Carolina.  Hurricane Michael will hinder efforts in those states to recover from the effects of Hurricane Florence.

Michael Strengthens Into a Hurricane, Watches Issued for Gulf Coast

Former Tropical Storm Michael strengthened into a hurricane on Monday morning and Watches were issued for portions of the Gulf Coast.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Monday the center of Hurricane Michael was located at latitude 21.2°N and longitude 84.9°W which put it about 50 miles (80 km) south of the western end of Cuba.  Michael was moving toward the north at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 982 mb.

A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from the Alabama-Florida border to Suwanee River, Florida.  Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for the portions of the coast from the Alabama-Florida border to the Alabama-Mississippi border and from Suwanee River to Anna Maria Island, Florida.  A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the Cuban province of Isle of Youth and for the portion of the coast from Tulum to Cabo Catoche, Mexico.

Hurricane Michael continued to organize quickly.  A circular eye with a diameter of about 30 miles (50 km) was forming at the center of Michael.  A ring of strong thunderstorms was wrapping around the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in the ring of storms.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were wrapping around the core of Hurricane Michael.  Storms near the core were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the hurricane.

Winds to hurricane force extended out about 30 miles (50 km) primarily to the northeast of the center of Hurricane Michael.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 175 miles (280 km) from the center of circulation.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Michael was 10.4.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 6.8 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 17.2.

Hurricane Michael will move into an environment that will become increasingly favorable for intensification.  Michael will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  An upper level trough over the Gulf of Mexico was producing westerly winds which were blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds were causing some vertical wind shear.  However, the upper level trough will move westward away from Hurricane Michael and the wind shear will decrease.  Hurricane Michael will continue to strengthen when it moves over the Gulf of Mexico and it could intensify rapidly once the eye and eyewall are fully formed.  Hurricane Michael is likely to strengthen into a major hurricane.

Hurricane Michael will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system centered over the western Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Michael in a northerly direction during the next several days.  It will get bigger and stronger during the next 48 hours.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Michael will approach the northeast coast of the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday.  It is likely to be a major hurricane at that time.  Hurricane Michael has the potential to cause a storm surge of 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 meters) at the coast.  It will bring strong winds which could cause regional major damage and result in significant power outages.  Locally heavy rain could cause flooding in some locations.

Tropical Storm Michael Strengthens East of Yucatan

Tropical Storm Michael strengthened east of the Yucatan peninsula on Sunday.  At 8:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Michael was located at latitude 19.9°N and longitude 85.4°W which put it about 105 miles (170 km) east-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico.  Michael was moving toward the north at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 997 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the Cuban provinces of Pinar del Rio and the Isle of Youth.  A Tropical Storm Warning is also in effect for the portion of the coast from Tulum to Cabo Catoche, Mexico.

The circulation around Tropical Storm Michael is still organizing and the distribution of thunderstorms is asymmetrical.  Most of the thunderstorms are occurring in bands in the eastern half of the circulation.  A new center of circulation formed on Sunday afternoon near those thunderstorms.  Many of the rainbands in the western half of Tropical Storm Michael contain primarily showers and lower clouds.  One outer rainband in the southwestern periphery of the circulation does contain numerous thunderstorms.  The strongest winds are occurring in the rainbands on the eastern side of Tropical Storm Michael.  The winds are weaker on the western side of the circulation.  Storms on the eastern side of Michael are generating some upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical storm and was allowing the surface pressure to decrease.

An upper level trough over the Gulf of Mexico is producing westerly winds which are blowing across the top of Tropical Storm Michael.  Those winds are causing moderate vertical wind shear which was slowing the rate of intensification, but the shear is not strong enough to prevent Michael from strengthening.  The wind shear is probably the reason for the asymmetrical distribution of thunderstorms.  The upper level trough will move westward during the next few days and the upper level winds will weaken.  Michael will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is warmer than 30°C.  Tropical Storm Michael will strengthen slowly during the next 24 hours.  However, it will intensify more rapidly on Tuesday when the upper level winds weaken.  Michael will strengthen into a hurricane when it moves over the Gulf of Mexico and it could intensify into a major hurricane.

Tropical Storm Michael has been moving slowly while the circulation organizes and the center reforms.  Michael will move around the southwestern part of the subtropical high pressure system over the western North Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Michael in a northward direction during the next two or three days.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Michael will pass between the western end of Cuba and the Yucatan peninsula on Monday.  Michael could approach northern Florida by Wednesday.  It will be a hurricane at that time and it could be a major hurricane.  Michael could produce strong winds, a significant storm surge and drop heavy rain when it reaches the coast.

Possible Tropical Development Near Yucatan Peninsula

A tropical cyclone could develop near the Yucatan peninsula during the next few days.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Invest 91L was located at latitude 16.0°N and longitude 84.3°W which put it about 400 miles (640 km) southeast of Cancun, Mexico.  It was moving toward the northwest at 6 m.p.h. (10 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1007 mb.

A broad area of low pressure is over the western Caribbean Sea, Central America and the adjacent waters of the Eastern North Pacific Ocean.  Several smaller, mesoscale centers of rotation appear to be revolving around the larger low pressure system.  One of the mesoscale centers is over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean just west of the coast of Central America.  One or two other mesoscale centers appear to be over the western Caribbean Sea near Honduras.  The low level circulation is not currently well organized.  It is broad and diffuse.  Thunderstorms are clustered around the mesoscale centers, but large scale rainbands have not formed.

Westerly winds in the upper levels are are blowing over the top of the system.  Those winds are creating moderate vertical wind shear which is inhibiting the development of the low pressure system.  The upper level winds are forecast to weaken during the next few days and the wind shear will diminish.  The Sea Surface Temperature of the water in the northwestern Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico is near 30°C.  The broad low pressure system could slowly organize during the next two to three days.  The National Hurricane Center is indicating that there is a 70% probability of formation of a tropical cyclone near the Yucatan peninsula or over the southern Gulf of Mexico during the next five days.  A reconnaissance plane is scheduled to investigate the low pressure system on Sunday, if necessary.

The broad low is southwest of a subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean.  The high is expected to steer the low toward the northwest during the weekend.  On its anticipated track the low will move over the northwestern Caribbean Sea during the next several days.  it could move into the Gulf of Mexico on Monday.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Leslie continued to meander northeast of Bermuda.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Leslie was located at latitude 36.2°N and longitude 58.4°W which put it about 455 miles (730 km) northeast of Bermuda.  Leslie was moving toward the north-northwest at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 986 mb.

Florence Strengthens Into a Major Hurricane

Hurricane Florence strengthened rapidly into a major hurricane on Wednesday morning.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Hurricane Florence was located at latitude 22.0°N and longitude 45.7°W which put it about 1370 miles (2205 km) east-southeast of Bermuda.  Florence was moving toward the northwest at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 125 m.p.h. (205 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 145 m.p.h. (235 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 957 mb.

Hurricane Florence strengthened rapidly on Wednesday morning.  A small circular eye formed at the center of circulation.  A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Hurricane Florence.  Storms near the core were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the hurricane.

The circulation of Hurricane Florence is small.  Winds to hurricane force extend out about 20 miles (30 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 95 miles (155 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Florence is 23.6.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 7.0 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) is 30.6.

Hurricane Florence will move through an environment capable of supporting a strong hurricane.  Florence is currently over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C and it will move over warmer water during the next several days.  An upper level trough north of Florence is producing westerly winds which are blowing toward the top of the hurricane.  However, those winds do not seem to be creating significant vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Florence could maintain its intensity and there is a chance it could get stronger when it moves over warmer water.  Because of the small circulation, if there are changes in the environment around Hurricane Florence, then the intensity could change quickly.  Also, any eyewall replacement cycles could cause the intensity to fluctuate.

Hurricane Florence will move south of a subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Florence in a general northwesterly direction during the next few days.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Norman could be southeast of Bermuda by early next week.  The guidance from the numerical models has been variable and there is still much uncertainty about the track Hurricane Florence will take later next week.

Elsewhere, Tropical Depression Gordon was dropping rain on Alabama and Mississippi.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Depression Gordon was located at latitude 32.3°N and longitude 90.2°W which put it about 5 miles (10 km) west of Jackson, Mississippi.  Gordon was moving toward the northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1008 mb.

Tropical Storm Gordon Makes Landfall on the Gulf Coast.

Tropical Storm Gordon made landfall on the Gulf Coast near Pascagoula, Mississippi on Tuesday night.  At 11:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Gordon was located at latitude 30.4°N and longitude 88.4°W which put it about 30 miles (50 km) east of Biloxi, Mississippi.  Gordon was moving toward the northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 70 m.p.h. (110 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 997 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from the Mouth of the Pearl River to the Alabama-Florida border.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from the Okaloosa-Walton County line to the Alabama-Florida border.

The circulation of Tropical Storm Gordon was asymmetrical.  The strongest bands of showers and thunderstorms were north and east of the center of circulation.  The strongest winds were occurring in those bands.  A C-MAN station on Dauphin Island, Alabama reported a sustained wind speed of 62 m.p.h. (100 km/h) and a wind gust of 72 m.p.h. (117 km/h).  The winds were much weaker south and west of the center of Tropical Storm Gordon and there was little rain in those parts of the tropical storm.

Tropical Storm Gordon will start to weaken as the center moves inland.  Gordon will continue to move around the western end of a high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Tropical Storm Gordon toward the northwest during the next day or two.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Gordon will move across southern Mississippi on Wednesday and over Arkansas on Thursday.  The wind will be strong enough to cause minor damage and it will cause some power outages.  Locally heavy rain and the potential for flash floods are the greater risks.  Flash Flood Warnings were in effect for parts of West Florida and Southwest Alabama.  Flash Flood Watches were in effect for Mississippi and Southeastern Arkansas.

Elsewhere over the tropical Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane Florence was continuing to intensify east of the northern Leeward Islands.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Hurricane Florence was located at latitude 20.7°N and longitude 43.9°W which put it about 1515 miles (2440 km) east-southeast of Bermuda.  Florence was moving toward the west-northwest at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 100 m.p.h (160 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 976 mb.

Tropical Storm Gordon Nears Gulf Coast

Tropical Storm Gordon moved closer to the Gulf Coast of the U.S. on Tuesday morning.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Gordon was located at latitude 28.5°N and longitude 86.8°W which put it about 145 miles (235 km) east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River.  Gordon was moving toward the northwest at 15 m.p.h. (24 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1001 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from the mouth of the Pearl River to the Alabama-Florida border.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the portions of the coast from Grand Isle, Louisiana to the mouth of the Pearl River including Lake Pontchartrain and from the Alabama-Florida border to the Okaloosa-Walton County line in Florida.

The circulation of Tropical Storm Gordon appeared to be getting more organized on Tuesday morning.  More thunderstorms developed near the center of circulation.  Storms near the center were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the east of the tropical storm.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms north and east of the center were moving toward the Gulf Coast.  The bands southwest of the center consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 80 miles (130 km) from the center of circulation, but the winds were weaker in the southwestern quadrant of Tropical Storm Gordon.

Tropical Storm Gordon could strengthen into a hurricane before it makes landfall.  Gordon will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  An upper level trough over the southeastern U.S. was producing southwesterly winds which were blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds were causing some vertical shear, but they will not be strong enough to prevent intensification.  The surface pressure decreased slightly on Tuesday morning.  Increased friction near the coast could cause the circulation to tighten around the center, when Tropical Storm Gordon gets closer to the Gulf Coast.

Tropical Storm Gordon will move around the southwestern end of a subtropical high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Gordon in a general northwesterly direction during the next several days.  On its anticipated track the center of Hurricane Gordon is likely to make landfall on the northern Gulf Coast on Tuesday night.  Gordon will produce winds to near hurricane force at the coast.  It could cause a storm surge of 5 to 8 feet (1.5 to 2.5 meters) east of the center where the wind blows water toward the coast.  The highest storm surge will occur in bays and the mouths of streams and rivers where the shape of the coast funnels water into those areas.  Tropical Storm Gordon will also drop heavy rain over portions of northwest Florida, southwest Alabama, Mississippi and eastern Louisiana.  Locally heavy rain could create the potential for flash floods.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, former Tropical Storm Florence strengthened into the third Atlantic hurricane of 2018.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Hurricane Florence was located at latitude 19.7°N and longitude 42.5°W which put it about 1270 miles (2045 km) east-northeast of the Lesser Antilles.  Florence was moving toward the west-northwest at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 990 mb.

Tropical Storm Gordon Forms, Causes Warnings for South Florida

Former Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven developed a distinct center of circulation on Sunday morning and the National Hurricane Center upgraded the system to Tropical Storm Gordon.  At 8:30 a.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Gordon was located at latitude 25.1°N and longitude 80.6°W which put it about 10 miles (15 km) west of Key Largo, Florida.  Gordon was moving toward the west-northwest at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1009 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Golden Beach to Bonita Beach, Florida.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the Florida Keys from Craig Key to Ocean Reef including Florida bay.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from the Alabama-Florida border to Morgan City, Louisiana including Lake Pontchartrain.

The circulation of Tropical Storm Gordon became much better organized during the past 12 hours.  A distinct low level center of circulation formed and many more thunderstorms developed.  A C-MAN station on Fowey Rock, Florida reported sustained winds of 49 m.p.h. (80 km/h) supporting the designation as a tropical storm.  The circulation of Tropical Storm Gordon was still organizing.  More thunderstorms were developing in bands northeast of the center of circulation than in other parts of the tropical storm.  Those storms were beginning to generate upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the core of Gordon.

Tropical Storm Gordon will be moving through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 36 hours.  Gordon will be moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will be moving through a region where the upper level winds will be weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Gordon will continue to intensify and it could intensify more rapidly once the inner core becomes better organized.  There is a chance that Gordon could strengthen into a hurricane before it reaches the north coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Tropical Storm Gordon will move around the west end of a subtropical high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean.  The ridge will steer Gordon in  a general west-northwesterly direction.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Gordon will move away from South Florida later today.  Gordon could approach the north coast of the Gulf of Mexico late on Tuesday.  Locally heavy rain could cause floods in South Florida.  Tropical Storm Gordon could produce a storm surge of 6 to 9 feet (2 to 3 meters) along parts of the northern Gulf Coast.

Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven Causes Tropical Storm Watch for U.S. Gulf Coast

Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven caused the National Hurricane Center to issue a Tropical Storm Watch for a portion of the U.S. Gulf Coast on Sunday afternoon.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from the Alabama-Florida border to Morgan City, Louisiana including Lake Pontchartrain.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven was located at latitude 22.7°N and longitude 77.3°W which put it about 275 miles (445 km) east-southeast of Marathon, Florida.  It was moving toward the west-northwest at 15 m.p.h (24 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1012 mb.

Bands of showers and thunderstorms began to form in a tropical wave over the Bahamas and the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven in order to be able to issue the Tropical Storm Watch for the north coast of the Gulf of Mexico.  The circulation of Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven was still organizing.  A distinct low level center of circulation had not formed.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were developing and the bands were starting to revolve around the inner part of the weather system.  Thunderstorms were beginning to generate some upper level divergence.

Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven will be moving into an environment favorable for intensification.  It will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  An upper level ridge is forecast to develop over Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven.  If that occurs, then the upper level winds would be weak and there would be little vertical wind shear.  Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven is forecast to intensify into Tropical Storm Gordon.  If the system moves slowly enough, there is a chance it could strengthen into a hurricane before it reaches the Gulf Coast.

Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven in a general west-northwesterly direction.  On its anticipated track the system will move over the Florida Keys on Monday.  It will be over the eastern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday and the system could reach the northern Gulf Coast late on Tuesday or early on Wednesday.

Elsewhere over the tropical Atlantic, Tropical Storm Florence was moving quickly away from the Cabo Verde Islands.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Florence was located at latitude 17.4°N and longitude 34.6°W which put it about 700 miles (1125 km) west of the Cabo Verde Islands.  Florence was moving toward the west-northwest at 15 m.p.h. (24 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1000 mb.