Through the Greater Antilles

November 13 was an active day for Tropical Storm Gordon. The trough over southern Florida and the Gulf of Mexico continued to push Gordon eastward towards Jamaica. In the pre-dawn hours, the storm clipped the eastern edge of the island, leaving 7.44 in (18.9 cm) of rainfall. Southwesterly wind shear kept the storm from developing beyond 45 mph (75 km/h), but neither the shear nor the landfall significantly disrupted the cyclone's organization. Accelerating, Gordon turned towards the northeast. Continued shear prevented the upper-level development needed for typical cyclonic organization, but a strong lower level circulation had formed. Its sustained winds were still only 40 mph (65 km/h), but as the system approached eastern Cuba a gust of 120 mph (192 km/h) was reported. The center crossed near Guantánamo Bay and the storm dumped heavy rainfall as it passed over the eastern portion of the island; even heavier rain fell in Haiti to the west, where 22.94 in (58.27 cm) of rain was recorded at Camp-Perrin.
Meanwhile, the broad-scale circulation that was covering most of the Caribbean Sea (of which Tropical Storm Gordon was only a part) was interacting with an upper-tropospheric trough near the Straits of Florida. This trough strengthened the broad upper-level cyclone, which in turn strengthened Gordon and spawned several other low-level circulations in the western Caribbean Sea. When Gordon crossed eastern Cuba, the National Hurricane Center determined that it had become the most dominant of these low-level systems and had absorbed their convections. (Meteorologist Jose Fernandez-Partagas voiced the minority opinion that Gordon's circulatory center had dissipated over Cuba and that a low-pressure system near the Bahamas was now the dominant system, which would have meant the demise of Tropical Storm Gordon and the emergence of a new tropical storm. While possible, this view was not accepted by the official hurricane summaries.) By nightfall of November 13, Gordon had not only made two landfalls and survived interactions with three competing systems but also, in assimilating the Bahamian low, had gained the cool central core typical of a subtropical cyclone.