Gordon threatens Gulf Coast with up to foot of rain; Florence a hurricane

Almost right on schedule, rush hour has arrived in the Atlantic Basin hurricane season.

Tropical Storm Gordon threatens the Gulf Coast and could make landfall Tuesday night as a Category 1 hurricane, with peak winds of 75 mph winds, near the Mississippi-Louisiana border. It already had made landfall on the southern Florida coast.

Camera icon National Hurricane Center
Project path of Gordon.

Hurricane warnings are up for coastal areas just east of New Orleans, which is under a tropical-storm warning.

The National Hurricane Center says dangerous storm surges are possible, along with 4 to 8 inches of rain and isolated amounts up to a foot.

Out in the open Atlantic, Florence has grown into the third hurricane of the Atlantic season, but it is still better than 1,200 miles away from the easternmost Caribbean Islands and is not expected to pose any threat to land at least through the weekend.

In the far eastern Atlantic, yet another disturbance was brewing, and the hurricane center said it has a 70 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression.

Camera icon National Hurricane Center
Gordon approaches Gulf, Florence swirls in the Atlantic, and third storm brews off African coast.

The season is reaching its climatological peak, and it is not all that unusual to have three storms cooking at once on the Atlantic Basin, which includes the Gulf and the Caribbean.

After a brisk start and long lull, this season now is near normal in terms of named storms, those with winds of at least 39 mph, and hurricanes, 74 mph.

Thus far seven tropical storms and three hurricanes have formed, both just slightly above average by the first week in September.