Tropical Storm Gordon Track Chart, Advisory #13

Current Location: 29.3N, 87.5W
Geographic Reference: 90 miles SE of Pascagoula, MS
Movement: Northwest at 15 mph
Max Winds: 50 mph gusting to 65 mph
Current Hurricane Severity Index: 3 out of a possible 50 points (1 size, 2 intensity)
Max Predicted Hurricane Severity Index: 5 out of a possible 50 points (2 size, 3 intensity)
Current Radius of Tropical Storm-Force Winds: 75 miles
Max Predicted Radius of Tropical Storm-Force Winds: 75 miles
Organizational Trend: Steady
Forecast Confidence: Average

Key Points
1. The track of Gordon has been adjusted east to near the Mississippi/Alabama border
2. This increases the risk of tropical storm conditions for Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, while decreasing the risk to Mississippi.

Our Forecast
Over the past 6 hours, Gordon has been tracking to the east of the previous forecast and east of most model guidance. We have adjusted the point of landfall eastward to the Mississippi/Alabama border, but it is quite possible that Gordon makes landfall even farther to the east. Tropical cyclones often wobble left and right of the general track by 20 or 30 miles, though this is only really evident as the center nears the coast.

Two reconnaissance planes have been investigating Gordon this afternoon. While one plane did find a small pocket of winds near 60 mph about 5 hours ago, recent passes through the storm indicate that max sustained winds are closer to about 50 mph. It is not uncommon for poorly-organized storms like Gordon to fluctuate in intensity by up to 20 mph over short periods of time. Recent satellite imagery indicates that there are still some heavy squalls north and east of Gordon’s center, which could allow for some strengthening prior to landfall. This is why we are indicating that Gordon’s winds at landfall in about 6 hours may reach 60 mph over a small area east of the center. Once Gordon moves inland, it will quickly weaken to a tropical depression and then a remnant low pressure area.

The easterly track adjustment significantly reduces the threat of any significant tidal increase along the southeast Louisiana and Mississippi coasts this evening, as winds there will be from the northeast rather than the southeast. The eastward shift also reduces the heavy rain threat for coastal Mississippi, while increasing the heavy rain threat for Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

Expected Impacts on Land
Southeast Louisiana to Pascagoula, Mississippi: Offshore winds this evening will not result in very much tidal increase as Gordon moves ashore. Most of Gordon’s squalls may pass to your east. Minimal impact expected.

East of Pascagoula, Mississippi to the Western Florida Panhandle: Tropical storm conditions likely this evening, with tides 2-4 feet above normal. Some power outages likely due to strong wind gusts in squalls. Coastal flooding is likely.

An intermediate advisory will be issued by 6 PM CDT. The next full advisory will be issued at 9 PM CDT.

Meteorologist: Chris Hebert

Forecast Confidence:   Average Hurricane Severity Index
Fcst Hour Valid Lat. Lon. Max Sustained Winds Max Gusts Category Size Intensity Total
0 3PM CDT Tue Sep 04 29.30N 87.50W 50 mph 65 mph Tropical Storm 1 2 3
6 9PM CDT Tue Sep 04 30.30N 88.40W 60 mph 70 mph Tropical Storm 2 3 5
12 3AM CDT Wed Sep 05 31.20N 89.20W 40 mph 50 mph Tropical Storm 1 1 2
18 9AM CDT Wed Sep 05 31.90N 90.00W 35 mph 45 mph Tropical Depression 0 1 1
24 3PM CDT Wed Sep 05 32.50N 90.80W 30 mph 35 mph Remnant Low 0 0 0
36 3AM CDT Thu Sep 06 33.50N 92.40W 30 mph 35 mph Remnant Low 0 0 0
48 3PM CDT Thu Sep 06 34.40N 93.50W 30 mph 35 mph Remnant Low 0 0 0
60 3AM CDT Fri Sep 07 35.20N 94.10W 30 mph 35 mph Remnant Low 0 0 0

The yellow cone represents track error from the previous five hurricane seasons. Over the past five hurricane seasons, the center of the storm tracked within the yellow cone 75% of the time. The cone does not represent the forecast uncertainty in the current advisory for this storm. In addition, hurricane-force winds, very high tides, large waves, and heavy rainfall can often extend well outside the yellow cone.