UPDATE As of 9-4 8:30 a.m.
Tropical Storm Gordon continues to move toward the northern Gulf Coast. Tropical Storm warnings remain in effect for our area along with a Storm Surge Watch. Gordon is expected to make landfall later this evening along the lower Mississippi valley as a Category 1 hurricane.
Gordon is expected to move along the southwestern periphery of a midlevel high-pressure area and make landfall along the north-central Gulf of Mexico coast within 24 hours. After landfall, the cyclone is forecast to move northwestward, along the western side of the high, at a reduced forward speed. Late in the forecast period Gordon, or its post-tropical remnant, should turn northward to north-northeastward as it approaches the midlatitude westerlies.
For our area:
- Tropical storm force winds are anticipated to reach Santa Rosa County Tuesday early evening.
- An isolated tornado or waterspout cannot be ruled out.
- Rainfall amounts are expected to be relatively low with one to 3 inches over the next 48 hours.
- Storm surge is expected to be two to 4 feet above normal.
- Emergency management staff will be monitoring Gordon Tuesday.
- Santa Rosa County schools will close for a half day, all after-school activities to include community school/latch key kid program will also be closed. Schools will resume as scheduled Wednesday, Sept. 5.
- No evacuations have been ordered and no shelters will be opened at this time.
- Central Landfill in Milton will be open for regular hours. Waste Pro will run regular routes Tuesday. If they must stop due to inclement weather, they will finish routes Wednesday morning. For any questions regarding trash pickup, call your waste hauler.
- County offices and the court system will operate as normally scheduled Tuesday, Sept. 4.
- Bridges will be monitored law enforcement throughout the event and closed as necessary. NO BRIDGES ARE CLOSED IN ADVANCE OF A STORM.
- The biggest threat for our area remains to be an extremely high risk of life-threatening rip currents. Knee-deep is too deep. Abide by the flag warning system and lifeguard instruction. Red flags are currently flying at the beach which indicates a high risk of rip currents. Double red flags mean the beach is closed to swimmers.
Okaloosa and Escambia schools are closed Tuesday. Santa Rosa schools are dismissing at early release times. Lighthouse Christian school is closed, University of West Florida is closed and Pensacola State College is closed Tuesday.
UPDATE As of 4 p.m.
A Tropical Storm warning remains in effect for our area east to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line. Tropical Storm Gordon’s maximum sustained winds remain at 50 mph but is expected to strength to hurricane strength before making landfall. The storm is currently located at 26.2N and 82.6W. It continues to move WNW at 17 mph. Gordon is expected to move more northwesterly over the next 36 hours.
Hurricane Warnings have been issued for the Mouth of the Pearl River to the Alabama Florida state line.
The next intermediate advisory will be at 7 p.m.
UPDATE As of 1 p.m. Intermediate advisory
A Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for our area. Tropical Storm Gordon has shown slight strengthening with maximum sustained winds now at 50 mph with higher gusts. The storm is located at 25.8N and 81.9W and is moving in a west-northwesterly direction at 16 mph.
Navarre is currently also under a Storm Surge Watch. If the landfall of Gordon were to occur at high tide, water could reach these heights in the following areas:
Shell Beach to the Mississippi-Alabama border...3 to 5 ft. Navarre Florida to the Mississippi-Alabama border...2 to 4 ft. Shell Beach to the Mouth of Mississippi River...2 to 4 ft. Mouth of the Mississippi River to the Louisiana-Texas border...1 to 2 ft. The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the east of the landfall location, where the surge will be accompanied by large waves.
UPDATE As of 10:30 a.m.
As of 10:30 a.m. the National Hurricane Center has moved the warning areas for Tropical Storm Gordon eastward to the Okaloosa/Walton county line. A Hurricane Watch has been issued from the Mouth of the Pearl River to the Alabama Florida state line.
Tropical Storm Gordon is currently located at 25.3N and 81.3W. Currently the storm is moving west-northwest but a more northwesterly movement is expected over the next 72 hours. T.S. Gordon could be near hurricane strength as it makes landfall. Currently Tropical Storm force winds extend out 45 miles from the center.
As of 7:30 a.m., Tropical Storm Gordon was located just south of the tip of Florida at 25.1N and 80.7W. Maximum sustained winds are at 45 mph, moving west northwest at 17 mph.
Currently our area is not under any watches or warnings, but maps from the National Weather Service in Mobile indicate the Gulf waters are in a warning area. Joe Maniscalco, a meteorologist from the NWS Mobile office explains it. “The reason you have Tropical Storm warnings out over the marine area is because of the angle of approach of the System. It will come in from the southeast as it moves northwest.”
The forecast track of the storm has the storm making landfall somewhere between Morgan City, Louisiana eastward to the Florida Alabama state line.
At this time, Maniscalco says it is expected this storm will be a rain event with some winds. Our area will be on the right-hand side of the storm which is typically the more active portion. We can expect high seas, strong rip currents and stronger winds.
Stay tuned for updates in shorter time frames as this storm could intensify. The impacts of the storm are expected to be felt late Tuesday night into Wednesday as the storm approaches from the southeast.