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article imageSally has shifted East and rapidly strengthened into a hurricane

By Karen Graham     Sep 14, 2020 in Environment
After already bringing widespread flooding to southern Florida over the weekend, Sally now has the Northern Gulf Coast in its sights, and has become the seventh hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic season.
Pretty close to noontime on Monday, Tropical Storm Sally strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane says the National Hurricane Center. The storm is packing sustained winds of 90 mph (150 kph) and is about 165 miles (265 kilometers) southeast of Biloxi, Mississippi. The minimum central pressure has dropped to 98 6mb (29.12 inches).
The tropical storm warning and hurricane watch from the Mississippi/Alabama Border to the Alabama/Florida Border has been changed to a hurricane warning, the NHC said at its latest special advisory. Additional strengthening of the storm is possible during the day today, and Hurricane Sally could make landfall as a Category 2 hurricane.
Sally is moving to the west-northwest at about 7 mph (11 kph) and this current speed and direction is forecast to continue through the day before Sally makes a turn toward the northwest tonight and a northward turn sometime on Tuesday.
On the forecast track, Sally will approach southeastern Louisiana tonight, and make landfall in the hurricane warning area on Tuesday or Tuesday night. Afterward, Sally is expected to move slowly north-northeastward near the northern Gulf Coast through Wednesday.
Remember now, this is a slow-moving very intense hurricane, Coastal areas between eastern Louisiana and western Florida could see anywhere between 1 and 8 feet of storm surge, though the coast between the Mississippi River and Ocean Springs, Mississippi, east of Biloxi, could witness up to 11 feet, the National Hurricane Center forecast.
The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large life-threatening and damaging waves.
Because of the slow forward movement of this storm, the NHC is forecasting 8 to 16 inches of rainfall with isolated amounts of 24 inches or more over portions of the central Gulf Coast from the western Florida Panhandle to far southeast Louisiana through the middle of the week.
Most folks will remember when Hurricane Harvey hit Houston and the Texas coast in 2017. Harvey was a slow-mover and actually stalled right on the coastline.
So much rain had been dumped on southeastern Texas, the National Weather Service's (NWS) maps needed to be altered. Because more than 30 inches of rain had fallen in just a couple days, the NWS added a lavender layer to the map to show areas that had already seen "unfathomable" amounts of rain.
So wherever you live in the Hurricane watch and warning areas, heed the advice and information you are given by your local weather and government officials. State of emergency declarations have already been issued by Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves ahead of Sally's arrival.
More about Hurricane Sally, landfall, MississippiAlabama coast, lifethreatening storm surge, Torrential rains
 
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