MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Tropical Storm Sally is expected to strengthen Sunday night and Monday, bringing life-threatening conditions along portions of the northern Gulf Coast.
At 11 a.m. Sunday, Sally was about 135 miles west of St. Petersburg, Florida and 280 miles east-southeast of the Mouth of the Mississippi River.
Sally is moving toward the west-northwest near 12 mph, and a west-northwestward or northwestward motion is expected through Monday.
A decrease in forward speed and a turn toward the north- northwest is forecast on Monday night, and slow north-northwestward motion is expected Tuesday.
On the forecast track, the center of Sally will move over the eastern Gulf of Mexico today, move over the north-central Gulf of Mexico tonight and Monday, and approach the north-central Gulf Coast within the hurricane warning area late Monday and Monday night.
Sally is expected to move farther inland over southeastern Louisiana on Tuesday and Tuesday night.
Data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 60 mph with higher gusts.
Strengthening is expected over the next day or so, and Sally is forecast to become a hurricane on Monday, with some additional strengthening possible before landfall Monday night.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles primarily to the east of the center.
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for:
- Port Fourchon Louisiana to the Mississippi/Alabama Border
- Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Lake Borgne
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:
- Morgan City Louisiana to Ocean Springs Mississippi
- Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas including metropolitan New Orleans
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for:
- Mississippi/Alabama Border to the Alabama/Florida Border
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for:
- East of Ocean Springs to the Alabama/Florida Border
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:
- East of Ocean Springs to Indian Pass
- Intracoastal City Louisiana to west of Morgan City
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:
- Indian Pass to Ochlockonee River Florida
Hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area starting late Monday. Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area and expected within the warning area beginning Monday.
Sally is expected to produce additional rainfall of 1 to 3 inches across southwestern Florida with isolated amounts of 6 inches along that coast through Monday. This rainfall may produce flash and urban flooding and prolong high flows and ongoing minor flooding on rivers across west-central Florida.
Sally is expected to be a slow moving system resulting in significant flash flooding for the central Gulf Coast through the middle of the week. Sally is expected to produce rainfall of 6 to 12 inches with isolated amounts of 20 inches over portions of the central Gulf Coast from the western Florida Panhandle to far southeast Louisiana from Monday through the middle of the week.
Sally is forecast to turn inland Wednesday and track into the Southeast with rainfall of 4 to 8 inches possible farther inland across much of Mississippi and Alabama with further heavy rain anticipated for portions of Tennessee, northern Georgia and western North Carolina. Flash and urban flooding is possible, as well as minor to isolated moderate flooding on rivers for Mississippi and Alabama. Flash, urban, and minor river flooding is possible for portions of Tennessee, northern Georgia and western North Carolina.
Swells will spread northward along the west-central coast of Florida and reach the Florida Panhandle and the northern Gulf Coast during the next couple of days. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.