Tropical Storm Gordon Strengthens, Expected to Become Hurricane as It Heads for Gulf Coast

Gordon passes near Miami
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The storm is churning in the Gulf and is expected to make landfall late Tuesday.

Tropical Storm Gordon is gaining strength as it heads for the Gulf Coast and is expected to be a hurricane when it makes landfall later on Tuesday. 

As of Tuesday morning, the system was packing 65 mph winds and centered about 190 miles off the mouth of the Mississippi River. 

Gordon is expected to produce 4 to 8 inches of rainfall from the Florida Panhandle to southern Arkansas, with isolated areas receiving up to a foot, according to the National Hurricane Center. Tornadoes are also possible. 

Severe flooding is expected to be Gordon's greatest hazard, however, with officials warning of life-threatening storm surge. 

After making landfall, the storm will charge inland over the lower Mississippi Valley, where it will quickly weaken.

Voluntary evacuations have been issued in Louisiana ahead of the storm.