4 near the border between Louisiana and MS, and drop as much as 8 inches (20 cm) of rain in some areas of the U.S. South still reeling from hurricanes a year ago.
Hurricane warnings are in effect for the Alabama and MS coastlines, with tropical storm warnings extending to Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle.
It's expected to make landfall along the Alabama or MS coast late Tuesday night or early Wednesday perhaps as a category one hurricane.
While the system is expected to bring hurricane winds and rain to the Gulf Coast, the fast 17 miles per hour pace at which the storm was moving gave it less time to strengthen over waters before it is expected to hit land.
Florence was moving toward the west-northwest near 14 miles per hour and maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour with higher gusts. But it's expected to make landfall Tuesday night in the northern Gulf Coast as only a Category 1 hurricane.More news: Airstrike near United States base in southeastern Syria kills 8 pro-Assad fighters
Tropical Storm Gordon now sits about 50 miles west of Fort Myers, Florida.
There is a Special Marine Warning for Indian River County and Brevard County. But authorities issued a voluntary evacuation order for areas outside the city's levee protection system, including the Venetian Isles, Lake Saint Catherine and Irish Bayou areas.
The storm's predicted track had shifted slightly east as of Monday evening, meaning Louisiana is now just outside the area under the hurricane warning.
Red flags flew over Pensacola-area beaches in Florida's Panhandle, where swimming and wading in the Gulf of Mexico was prohibited. Flash flooding will also be a concern as we have picked up a lot of rain over the past couple of weeks.More news: Son's South Korea in football final after Vietnam win
More than 4,000 Florida Power & Light customers lost power on Monday as a result of the weather.
"We're asking people to do the same things that we're doing: prepare", Biloxi Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich said in a statement.
Airlines including Delta, Southwest and Frontier warned that delays and flight cancellations are possible at airports near the Gulf Coast because of the storm, and that they may waive fees for itinerary changes.
Separately, Tropical Storm Florence continues to hold steady over the eastern Atlantic.More news: Roxanne Pallett has left the 'Celebrity Big Brother' house