The governors of Louisiana and MS have declared states of emergency, and emergency operations centers have been activated from Florida to Louisiana as officials urge residents to prepare for the storm. The system did not reach the hurricane status previously forecast, however, warnings of "life-threatening" conditions remain in effect for areas expected to be hit with rapidly rising storm surges between MS and Alabama.
It said the system is forecast to move slowly westward to west-northwestward across the eastern tropical Atlantic for the next several days, and environmental conditions are expected to gradually become more conducive for development.
The hurricane center also is monitoring a tropical wave a few hundred miles south-southeast of the Cabo Verde Islands.
Gordon formed Monday morning near the Florida Keys. No flooding just yet and not expecting strong winds. Still, the southeastern part of the state remains under a tropical storm warning and residents need to be prepared for the storm to shift west, Edwards said.
The National Weather Service in New Orleans gave tips to city residents how to prepare for the arrival of the storm.
Coastal areas in the western Florida Panhandle are already feeling the storms effects, as outer rain bands are producing heavy rain and squalls as it continues to advance northwest.
Gordon strengthened some in the final hours as it neared the central Gulf Coast, clocking top sustained winds of 110 km/h.
The U.S. Gulf Coast refineries represent more than 45 percent of the national refining capacity, and the Gulf of Mexico yields 17 percent of the country's total oil production.
Governors in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana all declared states of emergency to better mobilize state resources and National Guard troops for the storm.
Slight strengthening could still occur, with Gordon potentially a category 1 hurricane as it makes landfall tonight near Biloxi, Mississippi.
"When you get the higher waves, water starts splashing across".
"This storm has every possibility to track further in our direction", Edwards said during a news conference Monday evening.
Grand Isle Mayor David Campardelle called for a voluntary evacuation of the barrier island.
With the app, you can constantly see all of the computer models, storm tracks and the latest written and video forecasts. Hurricane Florence was some 2,400 miles away from the USA, and another potential storm was likely to form not far off the coast of Africa and head east.
Murphy's bar opened past year for the first time since Hurricane Katrina; members of his family have owned it since 1982.
But the storm, spinning in the open Atlantic, isn't a threat to land for the time being - although that could change next week as it approaches Bermuda.