TAMPA (FOX 13) - Tropical Storm Gordon is intensifying now that it’s over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but the forecast remains the same for Florida – fast-moving storms with wind and rain through the evening.
Gordon officially formed Monday morning. As of the NHC's 5 p.m. update, the storm had strengthened to 50 mph as it moved west-northwest at 17 mph. Earlier, radar appeared to show a clear eye forming south of Naples.
Though the storm was offshore and moving away from Florida, most of the Gordon’s rain remained to the north and east of the center of circulation, meaning increased rain and thunderstorm coverage in parts of Tampa Bay through the night.
Scattered showers soaked the Bay Area all afternoon, before a large break in the rain moved in. More rain is likely overnight.
Once the moisture moves out into the Gulf of Mexico by Monday evening, it’s going to encounter some warmer waters, FOX 13 meteorologist Brittany Rainey explained.
"It will be moving away from Tampa by the time it is starting to strengthen," she said. "The greatest impacts are going to be up along the northern Gulf coastlines."
Gordon will head for the coastlines of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Tropical storm warnings and a hurricane watch are in effect into Tuesday night. Flooding would be a concern for those areas.
As far as Tampa Bay, the regular afternoon showers will return to normal by Tuesday, Rainey said.
Meanwhile, further out into the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Florence is holding on but will not be impacting any land for a few days. There is also a new tropical wave moving off the coast of Africa to keep an eye out for.
LINK: You can track the storms at MyFoxHurricane.