USA – Tropical Storm Gordon to Bring Heavy Rain

Tropical Storm Gordon made a second landfall just west of the Alabama-Mississippi border late on Tuesday, 04 September, with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph / 112 km/h, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Previously Gordon had made landfall south of Homestead, Florida, on 03 September.

Track of Storm Gordon, USA, September 2018. Image: National Hurricane Center

Schools have been closed and states of emergency declared in Louisiana and Alabama.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said, “As Tropical Storm Gordon continues to develop and nears landfall, families in the Panhandle need to be prepared. Currently, areas in the Panhandle are forecasted to receive up to eight inches of rain, and isolated tornadoes and flooding are possible.”

Authorities in Escambia County, Florida, said that one person was killed by wind damage near Pensacola.

At 4:05 a.m. EDT (0805 UTC) on Sept. 4, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Tropical Storm Gordon in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud tops (red) had temperatures near minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius) in three areas east of the center.
Credit: NASA/NRL

Heavy Rainfall Forecast

The National Hurricane Center said Gordon is moving farther inland and continues to weaken as of 05 September. However, NHC warned that heavy rainfall, as much as 12 inches (300mm), is expected in some areas.

“Heavy rainfall from Gordon will affect the western Florida Panhandle, southwest Alabama, southern and central Mississippi, northeastern Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, southern Iowa and Illinois, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches through early Saturday. This rainfall will cause flash flooding across portions of these areas.”

Storm Surge

NOAA / National Ocean Service said that water levels from the Florida panhandle to southeastern Louisiana remain elevated and are measuring 1.0 to 2.3 feet above normal tide levels with the highest residuals presently observed at Coast Guard Sector Mobile, Alabama.

“However, water level residuals along the Alabama and western Florida panhandle have begun to fall from their peak as Gordon begins to move inland,” NOAA added.

Early on 05 September, NHC said that all coastal watches and warnings associated with Gordon have been discontinued.