Hurricane warning issued as Tropical Storm Gordon takes aim at Gulf Coast

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As Florence spun in the open ocean, Tropical Storm Gordon approached the Gulf Coast after drenching parts of Florida. Up to eight inches of rain is expected in some parts of the Gulf states by late Thursday.

A hurricane warning was in effect for the entire MS and Alabama coasts with the possibility Gordon would become a Category 1 storm.

The National Hurricane Center is projecting Gordon to have winds up to 60 miles per hour by the time it reaches the northern Gulf of Mexico.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is coordinating preparations for Tropical Storm Gordon that is expected to begin affecting the state Tuesday afternoon.

Most recently, Hurricane Lane brushed past Hawaii last week, delivering a total 50 inches of rain and casting trees into the streets.

Gordon was generating winds of 105km/h on Tuesday as it steamed west-northwest at 27km/h, the National Hurricane Centre said.

Authorities across the Gulf Coast urged people to stay out of the water - warnings that beach lovers like Cameron Armstrong and Matthew Ewbanks ignored on their visit to Gulf Shores on the Alabama Gulf Coast.

The season's third hurricane of the Atlantic season formed Tuesday morning as Florence strengthened into a Category 1 storm with sustained winds of 75 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center. Forecasters said radar spotted possible tornados spun off by the storm overnight in southern Alabama and the Florida panhandle.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect from the mouth of the Pearl River to the Alabama-Florida Border. The storm is moving toward the northwest across the lower Mississippi Valley, bringing with it rain and potential flooding. By Saturday, what's left of the storm was forecast to hook to the north, then northeast on a path toward the Great Lakes. A storm surge warning was extended east to Dauphin Island.

"If you are less than 3 to 5 feet above sea level (in the warning area), you need to get away from that water, especially up those rivers, because that's where that water will be going", CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.

"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", the center said.

Governor John Bel Edwards said "nobody should panic but everyone should take this seriously". Hurricane Florence was some 2,400 miles (3,900 kilometers) away from the USA, and another potential storm was likely to form not far off the coast of Africa and head east. If so, it will be dubbed Tropical Storm Gordon, forecasters at the National Weather Service said.