ORLANDO, Fla. - Tropical Storm Gordon made landfall just west of the Alabama-Mississippi border Tuesday night.
Tropical-force winds from the fast-moving storm smashed into the coastline of Alabama and the western Florida Panhandle on Tuesday evening.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says heavy rains picked up in Mobile, Alabama, shortly before nightfall.
Gordon's top sustained winds are near 70 mph as the storm moves toward the northwest near 14 mph.
The storm is forecast to quickly weaken as it moves inland across Mississippi, Louisiana and into Arkansas through Thursday.
The last hurricane to strike the U.S. was Nate, which came ashore in Biloxi, Mississippi, last October.
Forecasters say 4 to 8 inches (10-20 centimeters) of rain could fall along the storm's track.
A storm surge warning is in effect from Shell Beach, Louisiana, to Dauphin Island, Alabama. Forecasters say the region could see life-threatening, rising waters of 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 meters).
More than 24,000 customers are without power Tuesday night as Gordon began pushing ashore. Those outages are split about evenly between coastal Alabama and the western tip of the Florida Panhandle around Pensacola, with a few hundred in southeastern Mississippi. The number of outages has been rising rapidly after dark Tuesday night as Tropical Storm Gordon's wind and rain began to take a toll on the Gulf Coast's power grid.
Closer to home, Gordon will continue to bring some heavy rain into South Florida, with a few lingering showers and storms across the Orlando area.
Meanwhile, Florence on Tuesday became the third hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season, also becoming a Category 2 late Tuesday. Florence is expected to stay out to sea.
At 11 p.m., the center of Florence was located near latitude 20.7 north, longitude 43.9 west. Florence is moving west-northwest near 12 mph.
Florence's maximum sustained winds have increased to 100 mph, with higher gusts. Weakening is forecast to begin on Wednesday and continue through the weekend.
In addition, a tropical wave located a few hundred miles south-southeast of the Cabo Verde Islands is producing a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms.
Gradual development of the system is expected and it could become a tropical depression late this week while it moves west across the eastern tropical Atlantic. The National Hurricane Center is giving the wave a 10 percent chance of further development over the next 48 hours and a 70 percent chance of development over the next five days.
The peak of the hurricane season is Sept. 10.
Expect a 50 percent coverage of showers and storms Tuesday afternoon in Central Florida.
Rain chances drop to 30 percent on Wednesday as Gordon sucks some of the moisture away.
Rain chances return to 50 percent by Thursday and jump to 60 percent on Friday.
High temperatures in Orlando will be close to the average of 91 every day this week.
Watch News 6 and stay with ClickOrlando.com for updates.
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