Hurricane Gordon developed during a fourteen-day period along an erratic, persistent, and highly unusual path. The hurricane formed near Panama in the southwestern Caribbean on November 8, 1994. As a tropical depression, it brushed Nicaragua and spent several days in the waters off the country's coast. Strengthening slightly into a tropical storm, Gordon wound its way north into the Greater Antilles. Despite warm waters, persistent wind shear prevented significant strengthening. Executing a slow turn to the north and then the northwest, Gordon made two more landfalls, on eastern Jamaica and eastern Cuba, while delivering tremendous rains to western Hispaniola.
As Tropical Storm Gordon made its fourth landfall crossing the Florida Keys, it interacted with a cyclone in the upper-troposphere and a series of cyclonic lows which lent the storm some sub-tropical characteristics. After a few days as an unusual hybrid of a tropical and a subtropical system in the Gulf of Mexico, the storm re-claimed its fully tropical form and made yet another landfall, this time across the Florida peninsula, and continued into the Atlantic Ocean. In the Atlantic, Gordon rapidly strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane. Gordon's characteristic wandering briefly brought it near North Carolina, but ultimately the storm headed south, weakening into a minor tropical storm before making its sixth and final landfall on Florida's east coast.
Hurricane Gordon was the seventh named storm and third hurricane of the 1994 Atlantic hurricane season. Although it never made landfall as a hurricane, in its meandering course the storm included six separate landfalls: four as a tropical storm and two as a tropical depression. Three of its landfalls were in the U.S. state of Florida.