Maximum sustained winds of the unnamed system have been clocked at 30mph and the system is moving west-northwest at 15mph.
After pounding South Florida with heavy rain and strong winds Monday, Tropical Storm Gordon is gaining strength and taking aim at the Gulf Coast.
Meanwhile, Florence has been upgraded to hurricane status, packing 75-mph winds as it moves west-northwest at 12 miles per hour.
Elsewhere, forecasters say, storm are expected to develop over the nation's midsection in coming days that could dump from 3 to 7 inches (8-17 centimeters) of rain in some areas.
The National Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane watch through Tuesday night, particularly in coastal areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.More news: Trump nixed statement praising McCain
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Areas under a storm surge watch and storm surge warning. Tropical Storm Gordon now sits about 50 miles west of Fort Myers, Florida.
Tropical storm warnings have been posted for portions of South Florida and the Florida Keys, as well as portions of the northern Gulf Coast. After making landfall, it is expected to move inland over the lower Mississippi Valley on Wednesday. The latest update from the National Hurricane Center gives the system a 70 percent chance of development between now and Tuesday.
Pressure was 1007 mb, down two millibars from the previous measurement.
Alabama could have a near-hurricane on its hands on Tuesday.
Tropical storm warnings extend to the west to around New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain and to the east over the western Florida panhandle. The storm surge watch has been extended eastward from the Mississippi-Alabama border to Navarre, Florida. Sea-surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico are warm enough to support a tropical cyclone but may not be high enough for a storm to quickly strengthen.
It added, "Tides above normal can be expected Monday through midweek". It is projected to make landfall on the Mississippi Coast early Wednesday with possible winds of 60 miles per hour. The Emerald Coast can expect rainfall totals in the 1- to 2-inch range. Some rain showers and storms are possible in the morning, and a few of the storms could produce flash flooding. It urged residents to complete preparations for the storm today.