Tropical Storm Gordon is expected to make landfall along the north-central Gulf Coast tonight as a hurricane, the NWS National Hurricane Center said Tuesday.
In its 10 a.m. CDT update, TS Gordon was centered over the eastern Gulf of Mexico about 145 miles east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River. On the forecast track, the center of Gordon will move across
the northern Gulf of Mexico today, and will approach the north- central Gulf Coast within the hurricane warning area late this afternoon or evening, and move inland over the lower Mississippi Valley tonight and early Wednesday, according to the update.
NOAA and Air Force Reserve Unit reconnaissance aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 65 mph (100 km/h) with higher gusts.
Some strengthening is expected today, and Gordon is forecast to be a hurricane when it makes landfall
along the north-central Gulf Coast. Rapid weakening is forecast after Gordon moves inland, the NHC said.
The NHC said Gordon is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and hurricane conditions to portions of the central Gulf Coast where a Storm Surge Warning and Hurricane Warning are in effect. Heavy rainfall will also affect the western Florida Panhandle, southwest Alabama, southern and central Mississippi, much of eastern Louisiana, and southern Arkansas, where rainfall totals could reach as high as 12 inches, causing flash flooding.
The U.S. Coast Guard has set Port Condition YANKEE for the Sector New Orleans areas, meaning hurricane-force winds are possible within 24 hours.
Update: The Coast Guard set Port Condition ZULU for the following ports: Gulfport, Pascagoula and Mobile.
During Port Condition YANKEE, all affected ports are closed to inbound vessel traffic greater than 500 gross tons. All vessels greater than 500 gross tons without permission to remain in port should have departed or be prepared to depart prior to the setting of Port Condition ZULU.
In Port Condition ZULU, the port is closed, and all port operations are suspended.
Chevron said in an email Tuesday that it has shut in production at one Gulf facility and evacuated some non-essential personnel. Anadarko has also evacuated workers and shut production at two offshore oil platforms.