The tropical wave forecast to cross South Florida on Monday was declared Tropical Storm Gordon after surface observations and radar data indicated maximum sustained winds were around 45 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The previous Tropical Storm Watch from the Florida-Alabama border westward to Morgan City, La., has been changed to a Tropical Storm Warning - in expectation of the formation of Tropical Storm Gordon.
It is expected to make landfall somewhere between Mobile and New Orleans Tuesday evening. Heavy rain, coastal flooding, and storm surge is expected along the Gulf Coast. A storm surge warning has been issued for the area stretching from Shell Beach, Louisiana, to Dauphin Island, Alabama.
The National Weather Service said the storm is likely to pass over the southern Florida Keys Monday afternoon and could create rip currents along South Florida's beaches.
Activity in the Atlantic Ocean and Carribean is becoming very active as the peak of hurricane season is upon us.
The storm is also expected to produce rainfall totals of 4-6 inches over Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.
Hurricane's wind, rain pounds Hawaiian islands
A number of structures on the island of Hawaii were destroyed, said Melissa Dye, a Weather Service spokeswoman in Honolulu. Hurricane conditions, including winds of at least 74 miles per hour , will start there Friday, the Hurricane Center said .
Rain has drenched the Miami area as Tropical Storm Gordon moved into the Gulf of Mexico on Monday.
"The tropical storm warning for the upper Florida Keys and from Golden Beach to Chokoloskee, including Florida Bay, has been discontinued", NHC said.
A flash flood watch is in effect starting about noon Tuesday and ending about midnight Wednesday, the NWS says.
The system is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 miles per hour, and this general motion is expected to continue through Wednesday.
The system would be named Gordon should it become a tropical or subtropical storm.
Wind gusts from the storm were expected to hit Florida from Monday afternoon, with Governor Rick Scott reminding people to remain vigilant. Forecasters expect scattered thunderstorms throughout the area. Gordon may travel into Arkansas by early Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center.