Tropical Storm Sally Expected to Become a Hurricane Today
Last week forecasters with the National Hurricane Center began monitoring an area of disturbed weather over the Bahamas. At first, the system wasn't given too much of a chance to strengthen because of atmospheric conditions and its close proximity to the Florida Peninsula.
Well, that system survived crossing Florida and is now in the Gulf of Mexico heading toward a landfall early on Tuesday on the southeastern Louisiana coast or along the coast of Mississippi or Alabama.
As of the 0400 CDT Advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Sally was located about 120 miles east southeast of the Mouth of the Mississippi River or 175 miles southeast of Biloxi Mississippi. Maximum sustained winds were at 60 mph. Sally is forecast to reach hurricane status later today and cross the coast as a category 1 storm on Tuesday.
The latest model guidance suggests that Sally will make a turn toward the north as the center of circulation is nearing the Mouth of the Mississippi River. Some model guidance suggests that turn will happen before the system reaches Louisiana. But, regardless, if you are in southeastern Louisiana or anywhere along the northern Gulf Coast you will feel the effects of this system.
Sally is not expected to be a major wind event like Hurricane Laura was just over two weeks ago. Sally is expected to bring more in the way of water, as in rainfall and storm surge to the coast. Here are the latest rainfall estimates for the area over the next few days.
As you can see most of the heavier rainfall will be well east of the storm's center of circulation. In fact, the effects of Sally, assuming the forecast trends hold, will be minimal in Acadiana. However, tropical storm warnings and watches are in place along Louisiana's coastline.
Elsewhere in the tropics forecasters are watching Hurricane Paulette, the remnants of Tropical Storm Rene, Tropical Depression 20, and three other tropical waves. One of which has been given a 70% probability of strengthening into a tropical cyclone.
So, even with the landfall of Sally during the day on Tuesday, we won't be able to let our guard down, as far as the tropics go, for quite some time. By the way, the Atlantic Hurricane Season of 2020 runs through the end of November.