Weak Tropical Storm Gordon Is Headed To Florida This Week

Gordon could be here sometime this week

By SHARON CALVERT for Sunshine State News 

While Tropical Storm Gordon continued to intensify as it tracks toward the open Atlantic, a developing weather system in the Bahamas is now given a high chance to become a tropical depression or tropical storm in the coming days.

Designated Invest 91L by the National Hurricane Center, the storm system is expected to intensify into a tropical system Tuesday or Wednesday when it hits the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The Hurricane Center has elevated the chances of development to 50 percent over the next two days and 80 percent over the next five days.

If maximum sustained winds with Invest 91L reach 40 mph, it will become the Atlantic’s next named storm of the 2018 hurricane season – Gordon.

While Central Florida may see rain, Southern Florida will see locally heavy rain, gusty winds and strong rip currents through the holiday as Invest 91L approaches the state.

Invest 91L is expected to strengthen when it enters the Gulf of Mexico through the Florida Straits on Monday night or Tuesday morning.

It appears the major target of this developing system will be the northern Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle to Southern Louisiana.

“There are favorable environmental conditions over the northern Gulf of Mexico,” AccuWeather hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski said Sunday morning.

Windstorm paths are notoriously changeable, but as of Sunday morning, the National Hurricane Center reports that Tropical Storm Florence is not currently considered a threat to the Eastern Seaboard.

Early Sunday morning, Florence was about 478 miles west-northwest of the southern tip of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands off the coast of Africa and moving west at about 16 miles per hour.

Winds have strengthened to 60 miles an hour, continuing to move toward the 74 miles per hour threshold for hurricane status.

Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center and the storm’s minimum central pressure continued to drop, now standing at 999 millibars.

No major change in strength is expected through Tuesday and Florence is forecast to remain a strong tropical storm into Friday as it ventures into the open Atlantic.

Forecasters expect late in the week will be the target for having a much more measurable look of the path Florence will take concerning Florida and the U.S. east coast.

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.