DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — From just a tropical depression on Saturday to a category 2 hurricane today, Sally has intensified very rapidly. And considering it’s expected to make landfall in the next 24-36 hours, our Alabama, Florida, and Georgia viewers need to prepare for potential severe weather. Hurricane Sally’s hurricane force wind wield is fairly small, extending only about 25 miles from the center of the storm; however, the tropical storm force winds can be felt about 125 miles its center. While we are not expected to see any wind speeds of hurricane strength (74+ mph) we could see sustained winds and especially wind gusts of 40+ mph this week. We already saw two of Sally’s outer rain bands move through the Tri-State today, and there will be plenty more of those over the next 3 or 4 days. These bands could produce a few tornadoes in our area, so create and solidify a plan with your family tonight about how to take cover if there is a tornado warning and what to do if the tornado strikes your home. Besides tornadoes, we could see a lot of rain over the next few days. Most of the rain will fall tomorrow and Wednesday. Keep an eye on small children, pets, and even teenagers that might think swimming in flooded streams is a fun idea. Entering fast moving water, especially if it is brown (indicative of speeds fast enough to erode the embankments), is never a good idea. And if you run into flooded roadways while driving: turn around, don’t drown. By Friday, the system will be much weaker and move further away from the Tri-State. We’ll keep the scatterd storm chances since the will be tropical moisture left over from the storm and a front moving through our area Friday and Saturday. That front will keep us in the low 80s during the afternoons and low to middle 60s in the mornings. It will be our first real taste of Fall this year and will even lead to much more pleasant conditions at the beginning of next week.
SEVERE WEATHER THREAT:
The main concern will be a few tornadoes both Tuesday and Wednesday. Damaging winds from Sally itself will not be very likely, but these brief tornadoes can form very quickly and cause damage especially to mobile homes. Know how you and your family will respond to a tornado warning if one is issued for your area.
Another big concern is flash flooding. If the storm tracks a little further south than is currently expected, we could see more than 4 inches of rain in the next few days with much of it occurring rapidly in these outer bands. Watch out for flooded roadways and the typical flood-prone areas. And do not allow people to enter flooded streams.
If you have questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Twitter @MatthewWine_wx or on my Facebook weather page. I will also be live on Facebook multiple times over the next few days, so you can ask questions there as well! Be vigilant, be safe, and be weather aware.