Hurricane Sally Is Bringing ‘History-Making’ Rains To Gulf Coast, Forecasters Say

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«Historic flooding is possible with extreme life-threatening flash flooding likely through Wednesday,» the National Hurricane Center says, as Hurricane Sally slowly moves toward landfall.

National Weather Service


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National Weather Service

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Hurricane Sally has maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, the National Hurricane Center says. As the sun rose Tuesday, the storm’s center was about 105 miles south-southeast of Biloxi, Mississippi.

NOAA/NESDIS/STAR GOES-East


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NOAA/NESDIS/STAR GOES-East

Hurricane Sally has maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, the National Hurricane Center says. As the sun rose Tuesday, the storm’s center was about 105 miles south-southeast of Biloxi, Mississippi.

NOAA/NESDIS/STAR GOES-East

The center of the hurricane will pass near southeastern Louisiana’s coast on Tuesday, but it’s expected to make make a sharp turn toward the north before making landfall in Mississippi or western Alabama tonight or Wednesday morning, forecasters say.

Parts of the western Florida Panhandle and Alabama are now seeing tropical storm conditions, and the situation is expected to deteriorate. Those same areas are included in a tornado watch bulletin the National Weather Service issued Tuesday.

The storm’s rain, combined with a storm surge of up to 9 feet, are expected to produce dangerous floods.

«Historic flooding is possible with extreme life-threatening flash flooding likely through Wednesday,» the hurricane center said.

A storm surge warning, meaning there is a danger of life-threatening inundation by waters along the coast, is in effect from the mouth of the Mississippi River to the Okaloosa/Walton County line in Florida. The advisory also includes Mobile Bay.

Sally’s projected landfall has shifted consistently toward the east; the center of the warning area is now just east of the Mississippi/Alabama border. But a large part of the coast is under a storm surge warning, from New Orleans to east of Pensacola, Fla.

Sally is currently moving northwest, but its path is expected to curl northward today then a bit to the east – and the timing of those maneuvers is uncertain, leaving its projected path in doubt as people rush to prepare for strong winds and high water.

Federal emergencies have been declared in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, with President Trump approving requests from those states’ governors.

After Sally makes landfall, flooding risks will spread further inland, eventually reaching northern Georgia and the western sections of South Carolina and North Carolina later this week, forecasters say.

Sally rapidly strengthened on Monday, with sustained winds of 100 mph. Thast prompted forecasters to say it could have winds of up to 110 mph when it makes landfall. Those estimates have now been lowered, and the storm is expected to be a Category 1 storm when it finally arrives.

Sally is expected to remain at tropical storm strength or higher until the early hours of Thursday morning.

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