Sally Makes Landfall as Category 2 Hurricane at Gulf Shores; Pushing Through Area with Flooding Rain
First, so many watches and warnings are in effect and will continue to be issued over the next 24 hours, due to the constantly changing weather conditions. There is great potential for serious flooding across the state and the threat for tornadoes, please make sure you stay informed and safe, and download the Alabama News Network Weather App.
The center of Hurricane Sally moved onshore at Gulf Shores and will continue to track north and then northeast through South Alabama and into Georgia, bringing flooding rains, gusty winds, and the threat for tornadoes.
Recent data from An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft and the Mobile Alabama Doppler weather radar indicate that maximum sustained winds were near 105 mph with higher gusts. Rapid weakening is expected after landfall occurs.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles. A sustained wind of 98 mph and a gust to 116 mph were recently measured by an elevated NOS CO-OP observing station in Fort Morgan, Alabama. A University of Florida weather tower located at Gulf Shores, Alabama, reported a sustained wind speed of 75 mph and a gust to 93 mph. NOAA buoy 42012, located about 50 miles southeast of Mobile, Alabama, recently reported a sustained wind of 71 mph and a pressure of 970.9 mb inside the eastern portion of Sally’s eye. The estimated minimum central pressure based on the buoy data is 965 mb (28.50 inches).
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
RAINFALL: Through this afternoon, Sally will produce additional rainfall totals of 8 to 12 inches with localized higher amounts possible along and just inland of the central Gulf Coast from west of Tallahassee, Florida to Mobile Bay, Alabama. Storm totals of 10 to 20 inches to isolated amounts of 35 inches is expected. Historic and catastrophic flooding is unfolding. In addition, this rainfall will lead to widespread moderate to major river flooding.
Southern and central Alabama to central Georgia: 4 to 8 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches. Significant flash and urban flooding is likely, as well as widespread minor to moderate flooding on some rivers. The flash flood watch remains in effect across all of South/Central Alabama until Thursday.
WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected across much of South Alabama today, and a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for much of South Alabama today as these conditions are expected across the the warning areas today and tonight. North of there, the light brown counties are under a Wind Advisory.
TORNADOES: Some tornadoes may occur today and tonight across portions of the Florida Panhandle, southern Alabama, and southwestern Georgia, and the SPC has these area highlighted in a risk for severe weather today.
The weather will vary greatly across South Alabama with extremely dangerous weather to calmer conditions the farther north and west you are in the state. Some locations may receive little to know rainfall, while others will receive way too much. Again, stay weather aware today and we will get through this together. We have done this before, and we will do it again…
Stay safe and informed!!!