Hurricane warnings have now been issued from Grand Isle, Louisiana, northeast of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, including New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain, and Lake Maurepas. Sally continues to strengthen across the Gulf of Mexico with sustained winds of 50 mph.
Swells of up to 7-11 feet are possible near the center of the storm and just east of where landfall is expected. Along with the storm surge, extreme rainfall of more than a foot is expected in some locations between southeastern Louisiana and the western Florida panhandle.
Tropical Storm Sally is the 18th storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.
Floods are in effect until Sunday for Florida’s west coast areas including Tampa, Bradenton, Port Charlotte and Fort Myers. In these areas 2 to 4 inches of rain are expected over the weekend.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency Saturday night before tropical storm Sally.
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In New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a mandatory evacuation order for residents outside the city’s levee protection system. The evacuation will start on Sunday at 18:00. for the areas of the Venetian Islands, the Irish Bayou and Lake Catherine.
Most forecast models predict that Sally will move to the northern Gulf coast and that she will likely land somewhere between New Orleans and Panama City by the end of Monday or Tuesday, however if the track moves further west or slows down, the landing could hold out until Wednesday.
Once that area of the Gulf Coast is reached, the governance patterns are interrupted and the system winds near the coast.
Whether the meander is offshore before a landfall or onshore it won’t make much difference in terms of rainfall. In both cases, due to slow forward movement along the Gulf coast, significant flooding is possible.
As of now, widespread accumulations of precipitation of 4 to 6 inches are likely. However, there will be isolated areas along the coast that could collect more than a foot of rain.
Another system, Tropical Storm Twenty, formed in the central tropical Atlantic, according to the NHC. Winds sustained winds of 35 mph.
Winds are expected to pick up to a tropical storm by tomorrow and a hurricane by next week, and if so, he’ll be named Teddy. The previous record for the first nineteenth storm called is October 4, 2005.
Already an active season
Many storms have broken records for being the first to be named to date, including Cristobal was the first “C” letter storm in recorded history and Hanna was the first “H” letter storm. All but three named storms (Arthur, Bertha and Dolly) set records for being the first named storm for the respective letter.
Sally is just one of many Atlantic systems. The NHC is currently observing six areas: two tropical storms, two tropical depressions and two tropical disturbances. Thursday marked the culmination of the Atlantic hurricane season.
“Tropical Storm Paulette is expected to strengthen into a hurricane today,” says CNN meteorologist Haley Brink. Paulette is expected to follow the route to Bermuda and potentially land early Monday morning as a Category 2 storm. A hurricane clock is in place for Bermuda with possible hurricane conditions within 48 hours. Tropical storm conditions will begin to hit Bermuda by Sunday afternoon and the hurricane conditions will begin on Sunday evening. “
Another system to watch out for is a large low pressure area southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. This system is now tropical depression 20. After Sally, there are only three names left on this year’s official list: Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred. After that the NHC will switch to using the Greek alphabet.
La Niña is officially here