Tropical-storm-force winds spreading onshore along panhandle

40777953_1978811012184369_7688562716260171776_nHOLT, Fla., Sept. 4, 2018—Winds from Tropical Storm Gordon have begun to spread across the western Florida panhandle as the system moves closer.

Additionally, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Escambia counties are under a tornado watch until 4 am.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center. Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph with higher gusts.

image4Tropical storm conditions will continue to spread onshore during the next several hours within portions of the warning area, with hurricane conditions forecast by this evening in the hurricane warning area.

Gordon could still become a hurricane before landfall; however, rapid weakening is forecast after the storm moves inland.

Gordon is moving toward the northwest near 14 mph.

Rain continues through the night tonight and into tomorrow with expected accumulations of 4-to-8 inches over the western Florida panhandle.

The tropical storm warning is sill in effect from the Florida/Alabama border to the Okaloosa/Walton county line.

Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center upgraded Tropical Storm Florence to a hurricane with its 11 a.m. update.

The forecast calls for Hurricane Florence to strengthen just a little more during the next 6-12 hours possibly reaching winds speeds of 90 mph within the next 12 hours.

Florence remains on a west-northwest course at 12 mph. After 36 hours, Florence is expected to turn northwest and slow down.

The storm is still expected to remain in the Atlantic Ocean through the five-day forecast period, according to the NHC.

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