Storm Gordon is now battering South Florida with powerful gusts and heavy rain and it is expected to reach hurricane strength before making landfall just east of Louisiana.
Hurricane warnings are now in effect until further notice for coastal MS and tropical storm warnings remain in effect for the rest of the viewing area. Positioned 145 miles east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, Gordon is moving toward the northwest at 15 mph.
The storm was lashing South Florida on Monday with high winds and heavy rains as it moved west-northwest at 16 miles per hour (26 kph). Jake Wilson told WEAR-TV that the strong wind was bringing a lateral current "where it's just going to push you down the beach".
"Gordon will not be just a coastal event, and not just wind but also water could be damaging, unsafe and even deadly, especially if preparations are not rushed to completion as early as possible today before tropical storm conditions arrive", said Rick Knabb, The Weather Channel's tropical weather expert.
The peak wind forecast on the Mississippi Coast on Monday is 15 to 25 miles per hour with wind gusts of 35 miles per hour. Storm surge, hurricane force winds and flash flooding will all be possible along the Gulf Shore with this potential hurricane.
The storm is expected to move away from the southwestern Florida coast and reach coastal MS and Louisiana by late Tuesday.
The storm was forecast to come ashore late on Tuesday 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 worst conditions are expected to arrive along the north central Gulf Coast by late afternoon Tuesday and, especially, Tuesday evening.
A storm surge warning is also in effect for Shell Beach eastward to Dauphin Island, Alabama.
The storm left many businesses on Florida's Gulf Coast feeling shortchanged by the holiday weekend. The main threats here in Middle Georgia include the chance of some severe storms Tuesday and (possibly) Wednesday along the outer bands of the storm.
A Tropical Storm Gordon Twitter account even cropped up on Monday, personifying the terror so many people felt. A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for a portion of the Mississippi-Alabama border.
At 11 p.m. Monday, the storm is continuing a west-northwestward to northwestward motion.
The storm's predicted track had shifted slightly east as of Monday evening, meaning Louisiana is now just outside the area under the hurricane warning.