Update 9 p.m.: Tropical Storm Gordon is steaming toward the Gulf Coast with top winds increasing to 60 mph, leaving Palm Beach County to deal with lingering rain and dangerous rip currents into Tuesday.
“The direct impact from Gordon is more or less all over for Palm Beach County,” said Arlena Moses, meteorologist for the National Weather Service.
“The main concern over the next day is rip currents. The risk remains high through Tuesday.”
The currents pose a danger to swimmers and small craft. The chance of rain remains at about 50 percent for most of Palm Beach County on Tuesday.
As the storm moves southwest of Tampa at 17 mph, the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama face a hurricane warning.
UPDATE 5 p.m.: Tropical Storm Gordon continues to speed northwest at 17 mph with 50 mph sustained winds.
With Gordon expected to intensify over the Gulf of Mexico, a hurricane warning has been posted for the Alabama and Mississippi coasts, an increase from a hurricane watch issued earlier today.
Gordon is expected to be a hurricane when it makes landfall along the central Gulf Coast, National Hurricane Center forecasters said in their 5 p.m. advisory.
UPDATE 2 p.m.: The center of Tropical Storm Gordon is about 15 miles west-southwest of Marco Island with 50 mph winds.
The storm, which is moving at a swift 16 mph, is expected to strengthen in the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River on Tuesday or Wednesday. Although the official National Hurricane Center forecast keeps Gordon a strong tropical storm, forecasters said there is a chance it could reach Category 1 strength before hitting the coast.
A hurricane watch is in effect for the areas west of the Florida-Alabama border to the mouth of the Pearl river.
UPDATE 11 a.m.: Hurricane watches have been issued for areas of the Alabama and Mississippi coastlines as Tropical Storm Gordon continues to organize as it moves closer to warm Gulf of Mexico waters.
National Hurricane Center forecasters said it is possible that Gordon could peak as a Category 1 hurricane just before landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Tropical storm warnings remain in effect for Miami-Dade, Monroe and Collier counties.
UPDATE 10:51 a.m.: A significant weather advisory has been issued for areas from Greenacres through Jupiter as a strong thunderstorm threatens torrential rains and wind gusts up to 45 mph.
UPDATE 10:11 a.m.: The National Weather Service has issued a significant weather advisory for Palm Beach County as gusty showers move through areas including Boca Raton.
The advisory is in effect until 10:45 a.m.
“The main threat continues to be the flooding potential as more rain is expected through the afternoon and early evening hours,” NWS Miami meteorologists said in their morning forecast.
Previous story: Tropical Storm Gordon is moving quickly, expected to pass through southeast Florida by this afternoon, but tropical storm warnings are in effect for areas of Miami-Dade, Collier and Monroe counties as heavy rain continues.
Gordon, the seventh named storm of the season, was expected to form once it reached the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but spun up a little before the forecast predicted.
Palm Beach County is under a significant weather advisory until 10 a.m. with National Weather Service meteorologists warning of strong thunderstorms east of Lantana bringing wind gusts of up to 55 mph and the possibility of funnel clouds. The storm is moving at 35 mph to the northwest.
A wind gust of 56 mph was recorded at Florida International University in Miami at 8:54 a.m.
Sustained winds this morning at Palm Beach International Airport have been running about 9 to 20 mph, with a 21 mph gust recorded before 2 a.m. Miami International Airport reported gusts of up to 35 mph before 9 a.m.
As of 9 a.m., Gordon was 60 miles southwest of Miami moving west-northwest at about 17 mph with sustained winds of 45 mph. An Air Force hurricane hunter is headed into Gordon this morning.
Gordon is still expected to remain a tropical storm, with winds topping out at 60 mph in the Gulf of Mexico.
Tropical Storm warnings are also in effect for the coasts of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.
Rainfall estimates for the 24 hours preceding 8 a.m. show the heaviest showers hitting Miami-Dade County, according to the South Florida Water Management District. But those numbers will increase as the gauges update this morning.
The Weather Prediction Center is forecasting rain totals as high as 5 inches through Wednesday morning in South Florida.
A year ago today, Hurricane Irma was a Category 3 storm about 885 miles east of the Leeward Islands. Florida would be in the cone by Sept. 4 and Irma hit South Florida seven days later as a Cat 4 hurricane.
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. The official 5-day forecast for Florence tops it out at 65 mph.
But the track forecast is a little uncertain. Hurricane center experts still expect it to move northwest before it comes anywhere near Florida as it travels around the western edge of an area of high pressure.
“The main source of uncertainty in the track forecast is exactly when and to what extent Florence will make this turn,” NHC hurricane specialist David Zelinsky in his forecast.