Tropical Storm Gordon: What to expect in Alabama

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

Tropical Storm Gordon is on its way into the Gulf of Mexico, and CNN reports that it could reach hurricane status by the time it makes landfall.

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

The storm was gaining strength and was expected to become a hurricane as it comes ashore late on Tuesday near the border between Louisiana and MS, and drop as much as 20cm of rain in some areas of the US South still reeling from hurricanes a year ago.

Tropical Storm Gordon, which pounded South Florida with heavy rain, moved toward the Gulf Coast states, the National Hurricane Center said Tuesday. The area already has been impacted heavily by this summer's so-called "red tide"- massive algae blooms that have caused waves of dead marine life to wash along the coast. "Evacuate immediately away from coastal storm surges if instructed by local officials". Still, the southeastern part of the state remains under a tropical storm warning and residents need to be prepared for the storm to shift west, Edwards said. The storm surge for coastal Alabama will reach between two and four feet. It will likely be a hurricane by the time it makes landfall, but current predictions aren't forecasting that it will grow into a major category.

A number of schools across Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and MS will not open Tuesday and others announced they would close early ahead of the storm's arrival.

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A hurricane watch is in effect from the Alabama-Florida Border to the mouth of the Pearl River in Louisiana.

A hurricane watch - meaning that hurricane conditions are possible - was put into effect for the area stretching from the mouth of the Pearl River in MS to the Alabama-Florida border.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Florence held steady at just below hurricane strength over the eastern Atlantic Ocean early Monday evening, about 1,000 miles west-northwest of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands. Although the strongest winds - again, possibly at least 74 miles per hour as a low-end hurricane - will be at the center, gusty winds will be contained in the outer rain bands.

There is a Storm Surge Watch in effect for the Mississippi-Alabama border westward to the Mouth of the Mississippi River.

A tropical storm warning is in effect along the southern Florida coast from Miami to Naples, and along the Gulf Coast from Pensacola, Florida to Morgan City, Louisiana. Maximum sustained winds were clocked at 45 miles per hour (75 kph).

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