Tropical Storm Gordon forms; no threat to U.S.

A tropical depression churning in the middle of the Atlantic has become Tropical Storm Gordon, as of 5 a.m. Thursday. But the storm is making a sharp turn from what had been a slow track toward the U.S.

When the storm stood a 50 percent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone two days ago, it was moving to the west-northwest at 15 mph. It is now turning on a dime to head east-northeast.


Gordon has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph but is forecast to reach hurricane strength, with at least 74 mph winds, by 2 a.m. Saturday.

Three tropical storms have made landfall so far this season. Beryl, technically ahead of the official start to hurricane season, hit Florida in late May. Debby crossed the northern part of the Florida peninsula a month later. And Ernesto reached hurricane status before making landfall in Mexico earlier this month.


There are currently no other weather systems National Hurricane Center forecasters are tracking with the possibility of becoming tropical cyclones.

Forecasters for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently raised their expectations for the remainder of the hurricane season. They are expecting three to six more hurricanes, two or three of them major hurricanes, between August and the end of November. Ernesto counts as one of those hurricanes.

We are just entering what is typically the heart of the hurricane season, between mid-August and mid-September.

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