DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The latest data from the NHC keeps Sally at Tropical Storm status with winds of 60 mph and the minimum pressure around 996-998 mb. Its movement is still WNW at 9 mph. On Monday and Tuesday, the storm is expected to slow down in the north-central Gulf of Mexico. This will allow it ample time to strengthen considering a decrease in wind shear and the warm waters available to give the storm more energy. Storm surge near the expected landfall location at the mouth of the Mississippi River could be as high as 11 feet; however, the FL Panhandle and AL coastline will likely experience storm surge between 1 and 4 feet for most coastal communities. Rip currents could be deadly across much of the north-central Gulf Coast, so swimming would not be advised over the next few days.
Main threats for the Tri-State will include very heavy rain at times, a chance for localized flooding, gusty winds, and some isolated tornadoes. The Weather Prediction Center predicts areas closest to the center of the storm could see as much as 20 inches of rain or more over the next 5 days. The heaviest of the rain will be confined to areas between SE Louisiana and all of the AL coast.
UPDATES ON THE OTHER ATLANTIC SYSTEMS:
Hurricane Paulette has 85 pmh winds and will likely hit Bermuda tonight with hurricane force winds and torrential rainfall. By Monday night, Hurricane Paulette could strengthen to Cat. 3 strength as it pulls away from Bermuda. Although it will move NE and stay hundreds of miles away from the US East Coast, life-threatening swells and rip currents are still possible for beaches along the Eastern Seaboard.
Tropical Depression Rene is expected to remain weak as it meanders its way through the Atlantic Ocean. Its track takes it back SE toward the Caribbean Islands but not reaching them this week. We’ll continue monitoring it in case it re-intensifies.
Tropical Depression 20 will likely be named Teddy here shortly. This system is already forecast to take a track similar to Paulette and become a major hurricane late this week. Its current track does not indicate it will move toward the Gulf; instead, it should stay far away from the US and very well could impact Bermuda.
Finally, another tropical wave in the far Eastern Atlantic has a 70% chance of becoming a tropical depression in the next 2-5 days. We’ll monitor this one as much as the other already formed storms.