Hurricane Sally impacts Alabama, Florida coasts

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Hurricane Sally has weakened as it continues its slow trek toward the Gulf Coast, where the National Hurricane Center says “historic life-threatening flooding” is likely.

Sally is one of several systems churning in an extremely active Atlantic basin. Forecasters are also watching Hurricane Paulette, Tropical Storm Teddy, Tropical Storm Vicky and three areas of interest.

Here are the latest updates on the systems being tracked:

Hurricane Sally

The NHC is warning Gulf Coast residents that Hurricane Sally is expected to move slowly as it approaches land and could bring 10 to 20 inches of rain along the coast from the western Florida Panhandle to southeastern Mississippi. Some areas could see isolated amounts of 30 inches, the NHC’s latest forecast says.

“Historic fllife-threatening flash flooding is likely,” forecasters said in the advisory. “In addition, this rainfall will lead to widespread moderate to major flooding on area rivers.”

Sally strengthened rapidly on Monday, reaching Category 2 strength at one point, but weakened to a Category 1 hurricane overnight. As of 11 p.m. ET, Sally has maximum sustained winds of 85 mph with some higher gusts. The NHC says the center of Sally will approach the northern Gulf Coast
tonight, and make landfall early Wednesday.

The hurricane is moving slowly northwest at just 2 mph. The center of Sally is forecast to pass near the coast of southeastern Louisiana Tuesday before an anticipated landfall late Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for:

  • Mississippi/Alabama border to the Walton/Bay County Line Florida
  • Mobile Bay
  • Mouth of the Mississippi River to the Mouth of the Pearl River

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:

  • East of Bay St. Louis Mississippi to the Okaloosa/Walton County line Florida

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • East of the Okaloosa/Walton County line Florida to Indian Pass
  • Bay St. Louis westward to Grand Isle Louisiana

Sally became the seventh named storm of the season to reach hurricane strength on Monday.

Tropical Storm Teddy

Tropical Storm Teddy is expected to become a “large and powerful hurricane” over the central Atlantic in the coming days, the NHC says.

As of 5 p.m. ET, Teddy has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. It’s about 895 miles east of the Lesser Antilles and is moving west-northwest at 13 mph.

The NHC says Teddy will likely become a hurricane by Tuesday night and could reach major hurricane strength later this week.

Teddy became the earliest “T” named storm on record when it formed Monday.

Hurricane Paulette

Hurricane Paulette battered Bermuda with hurricane-force winds and torrential rain on Monday.

The Category 2 hurricane is churning about 740 miles off the island’s coast with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph. It’s moving northeast at 30 mph and is expected to slow down and turn southeast by late Thursday and Friday.

Some strengthening is possible Tuesday night but weakening is forecast to begin Wednesday, according to the NHC.

Tropical Storm Vicky

Tropical Depression 21 strengthened into Tropical Storm Vicky Monday morning, but it is expected to be a short-lived system.

At 5 a.m. Tuesday, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, and was about 500 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands. It was moving northwest at about 9 mph.

Vicky is the twentieth named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. There is now only one name left on this year’s list of hurricane names: Wilfred.

Once this year’s list of names runs out, storms will start being named after the letters in the Greek alphabet. The last year we reached the Greek alphabet was in 2005.

Other areas to watch

Forecasters are also watching three areas of low pressure in the Gulf and the Atlantic.

The disturbance in the Gulf is producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms and has a low chance of development.

Forecasters are also monitoring a non-tropical area of low pressure over the far northeastern Atlantic, several hundred miles northeast of Azores. The system is expected to head south-southeastward over the next few days and encounter warmer waters. The storm has a low 20% chance of development in the next five days.

Another area of low pressure being monitored is over the far eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean, is producing more concentrated shower and thunderstorm activity. A tropical depression is likely to form as it moves westward at 10 to 15 mph. The system has a high 70% chance of development in the next five days.

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