Tropical Storm Arlene continues to bear down on the northern Gulf Coast and the Florida Panhandle this morning.
Hurricane forecasters said that Arlene, with sustained winds of 70 miles per hour, could build into a Category 1 storm by landfall. Its heavy rains and winds arriving much earlier.
The storm was 170 miles south-southeast of Mobile and moving
northwest at 18 miles per hour, slightly more westward than before.
A hurricane warning was issued last night for a part of the northern Gulf Coast, including areas still recovering from Hurricane Ivan last year, as the system moved toward a strike later today.
A hurricane warning is issued when hurricane conditions, winds of 74 miles-per-hour or more, are expected within 24 hours.
The hurricane warning stretched from Pascagoula, Mississippi to Destin in the central Florida Panhandle.
Officials urged residents in low-lying areas of three Florida Panhandle counties to evacuate in advance of the storm. Eight hurricane shelters were opened in the Panhandle.