Tropical Storm Florence strengthens

September is the peak of hurricane season, and the National Hurricane Center is also watching Tropical Storm Florence, which is about 895 miles west-northwest of the Cabo Verde Islands with 60 mph winds.

Tropical Storm Gordon brought heavy rain and winds to South Florida on the Labor Day holiday.

Winds are expected to remain at tropical storm status (39 to 73mph), and make landfall late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

The current wind pattern is expected to gradually change and lead the storm over the eastern and central Gulf of Mexico by Tuesday or Wednesday. "Gradual strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and the disturbance is forecast to become a tropical storm by tonight".

Storm surges from 3 to 5 feet are expected from Shell Beach to the Mississippi-Alabama border, and from 2 to 4 feet from Navarre, Fla., to the Mississippi-Alabama border, and from Shell Beach to the mouth of Mississippi River.

The tropics are getting active just in time for the peak of Atlantic hurricane season on September 10.

A tropical storm warning is in place from the Florida-Alabama border west to Louisiana.

There are no watches and warnings in effect as Florence is in the open waters right now.

"The tropical storm warning for the upper Florida Keys and from Golden Beach to Chokoloskee, including Florida Bay, has been discontinued", NHC said.

Gordon's winds and rain come just two weeks after Monroe County began a $49.2 million project to remove tons of debris left by Hurricane Irma past year in canals in the Keys. Maximum sustained winds were at 45 miles per hour with a minimum central pressure of 1009 millibars. Should this occur it will be renamed Tropical Storm Gordon, reports the Weather Channel. On the forecast track, the center of Gordon will emerge over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by early afternoon Monday and will reach the central Gulf Coast by late Tuesday or Tuesday night. Collier County is likely to see heavier rainfall, with the heaviest scenario ending up with two to three inches of rain.

  • Joey Payne