8:00 PM CDT | September 3, 2018
Tropical Storm Gordon is the big story right now. It is producing maximum sustained winds of 60 mph off the western coast of Florida. Its pressure had fallen to 1003mb, as of 7:00 PM. Toward midday, it began showing signs of an impressive core; however, that fell apart this afternoon. This was likely due to some shear and perhaps some dry air that worked its way into the system. Convective towers have popped near the apparent circulation and also to the east and southeast. This is a sign of a system trying to further organize. What is preventing more rapid intensification (thankfully) is the fact that it has not solidified its inner core. Banding can be seen trying to wrap around the circulation. This has happened a few times today, but it needs to be sustained. This is the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center.
This evening's weather models are the first runs to reflect today's RECON data. This data was collected earlier today by NOAA's hurricane hunters, and it should help the models get a better handle on this tropical storm. It is already stronger than most of the model guidance had forecasted at this time. Gordon is a tropical system with a fairly small core. This type of system can ramp up quickly, but it can also be disrupted more easily than a broader system with a larger core. Tropical storm-force winds only extend about 45 miles from the center of the system.
The model guidance had shifted farther east this morning, but this afternoon's guidance shifted slightly westward again. The early evening hurricane models show a landfall near or just west of the National Hurricane Center's track Tuesday evening. The overall model consensus suggests a landfall around Southeast Louisiana or Mississippi. Thereafter, the spread in the model guidance increases. Some of the model guidance takes the remnants northward into Arkansas, while a few others still take it as far west as Northeast Texas. Right now, we wait and see what this system does over water. We should have a better idea of what impacts Texas could see from Tropical Storm Gordon by tomorrow evening. It is a possibility that the system remains far enough east, where we do not see any direct impacts from Gordon or its remnants. Time will tell...
If you have family and friends to the east, make sure they are aware of the situation. The current forecast calls for Gordon to reach hurricane status before landfall. Parts of the Gulf Coast can expect Heavy Rain, Damaging Winds, Storm Surge, and even isolated Tornadoes from this system. For official weather information, visit the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service websites. I will continue to update the blog, so check back for the latest updates!