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Tropical Storm Gordon Radar
Tropical Storm Gordon picks up speed as it heads toward the Gulf of Mexico. (12:15 p.m.) / Photo: WPEC Radar

Hurricane watch in effect for US Gulf Coast

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Updated September 03, 2018 12:27 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - A hurricane watch has been issued for portions of the central U.S. Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Gordon approaches.

The storm was lashing South Florida on Monday with high winds and heavy rains as it moved west-northwest at 16 mph (26 kph). The storm was expected to reach coastal Mississippi and Louisiana by late Tuesday and move inland over the lower Mississippi Valley on Wednesday.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said in its 11 a.m. EDT advisory that the storm was centered 60 miles (95 kilometers) west-northwest of Key Largo and 50 miles (80 kilometers) south-southeast of Marco Island.

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 Mississippi to the Alabama-Florida border.

A storm surge warning has been issued from Shell Beach, Louisiana, to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

WASHINGTON (AP) - A system moving quickly toward the central U.S. Gulf Coast has become a tropical storm, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The system is brewing about 175 miles (281 kilometers) east-southeast of Marathon in the Florida Keys. Maximum sustained winds of the unnamed system have been clocked at 30 mph (45 kph) and the system is moving west-northwest at 15 mph (24 kph).

The Miami-based center said in a statement Sunday evening that a storm surge watch has been issued from the Mississippi-Alabama border westward to the Mouth of the Mississippi River.

A tropical storm watch has been issued for portions of the central Gulf Coast from the Alabama-Florida line westward to nearly Morgan City, Louisiana.

The system could dump 2 to 4 inches (5-10 centimeters) of rain over parts of the Bahamas, the Florida Keys and South Florida through early Tuesday.

Meanwhile Tropical Storm Florence continues to hold steady over the eastern Atlantic, about 790 miles (1271 kilometers) west-northwest of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands.

Florence was moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 kph) and maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (85kph) with higher gusts late Sunday evening.

Forecasters say little change in strength is expected in coming days and no coastal watches or warnings are in effect.

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