In what’s becoming a hurricane season for the record books, Tropical Storm Gordon formed near the Florida Keys early Monday, lashing the southern part of the state with heavy rains and high winds before moving into the Gulf of Mexico. The “instant storm” is expected to grow throughout today and is on a path to hit the central U.S. Gulf Coast as a hurricane later tonight.
A hurricane warning was put into effect for the mouth of the Pearl River in Mississippi to the Alabama-Florida border. The National Hurricane Center is predicting a “life-threatening” storm surge along parts of the central Gulf Coast, and as much as 8 inches of rain could fall in some parts of the Gulf states through late Thursday as the tropical weather moves over the lower Mississippi Valley.
A storm surge warning has been issued for the area stretching from Shell Beach, Louisiana, to Dauphin Island, Alabama. The warning means there is danger of life-threatening inundation. The region could see rising waters of 3 to 5 feet.
The storm left many businesses on Florida’s Gulf Coast feeling shortchanged by the holiday weekend. Miami Beach Police said via Twitter that the Labor Day holiday was “NOT a beach day,” with rough surf and potential rip currents. Red flags flew over Pensacola-area beaches in Florida’s Panhandle, where swimming and wading in the Gulf of Mexico was prohibited. More than 4,000 Florida Power & Light customers lost power Monday due to weather conditions.
Gordon’s unusual appearance follow’s last month’s nail-biter in Hawaii, where Honolulu was spared a direct hit and the island State was merely hit with record flooding.
Tropical activity in the northeastern Pacific Ocean has been hyperactive in August 2018, propelling the month to a new all-time record for that part of the basin. Using what’s called the Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) Index, August 2018 is now the most active month on record for the eastern half of the northern Pacific Basin.
Not to be outdone, Japan can boast 13 named storms hitting the island since mid-June.
Typhoon Jebi crashed ashore today in southern Japan with high winds, heavy rain and pounding surf. At least eight people were killed and more than 160 were injured. Jebi’s eye clipped the eastern edge of Shikoku, near the city of Tokushima as the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, late Tuesday morning, then roared ashore near the cities of Kobe and Osaka a few hours later.
By comparison the Atlantic Seaboard has been slumbering, although Hurricane Florence is brewing off the coast of Africa and is headed on a path toward Bermuda.