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Gordon - 2000
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HURRICANE GORDON

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Hurricane Gordon Moves in on Florida

A tropical wave moved off the west coast of Africa on September 4 and moved west across the Atlantic with little development until the wave reached the Caribbean Sea on September 12 when convection began to flare. The convection was still poorly organized at the time, but it continued to strengthen as it moved west. On September 13, an area of low pressure formed along the wave when it was about 100 miles southeast of Cozumel and the Yucatan Peninsula. The disturbance became Tropical Depression Eleven during the morning of September 14 when located just off the coast of the peninsula. The depression moved inland later that day, but it managed to stay organized until re-emerging in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico on September 15.

The depression moved to the northeast and began to accelerate late on September 15 as it became Tropical Storm Gordon. The storm steadily intensified in the warm gulf waters through September 16, and became a hurricane late that day. Gordon strengthened only slightly after this and reached a peak intensity of 80 mph winds on September 17 when about 165 miles southwest of Tampa, Florida. An approaching trough began to increase the shear on the system on the 17th, and Gordon was downgraded to a tropical storm at 1 PM EST that day. Gordon made landfall near Cedar Key, Florida in the late evening hours of September 17 as a tropical storm with winds of 65 mph.

After landfall, the storm continued to race off to the northeast and weakened quickly to a tropical depression early on September 18. The remnant merged with a front later that day and was tracked as an extratropical system up the east coast before being absorbed into a larger system over Canada on September 21. The wave that would later form Gordon killed 23 in Guatemala, mainly from flooding and mudslides caused by the heavy rains of the system. There was an additional death in the United States when a surfer downed in high surf near Pensacola. Other damages were minimal and limited to fallen trees and downed power lines.

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