Miami, Fl.(Florida News Network)-At 500 PM EDT, the center of Hurricane Sally was located near latitude 28.8 North, longitude 87.4 West. about 105 miles east of the mouth of the Mississippi River, and about 145 miles southeast of Biloxi, Mississippi.
Sally is moving toward the west-northwest near 6 mph (9 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue through tonight. A northward turn is expected by Tuesday, and a slow north-northeastward to northeastward motion is expected Tuesday night through Wednesday night. On the forecast track, the center of Sally will move near the coast of southeastern Louisiana tonight and Tuesday, and make landfall in the hurricane warning area on late Tuesday or Wednesday.
Data from reconnaissance aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 100 mph with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast tonight and early Tuesday and Sally is expected to be a dangerous hurricane when it moves onshore along the north-central Gulf coast.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles.
The latest minimum central pressure estimated from data from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft is 987 mb (29.15 inches).
The Storm Surge Warning has been extended eastward along the coast of the Florida panhandle to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line.
The Hurricane Warning has been extended eastward along the coast of the Florida Panhandle to Navarre.
The Tropical Storm Warning west of Morgan City Louisiana has been discontinued.
The Tropical Storm Watch along the coast of the Florida Panhandle has been discontinued.
STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide...
Mouth of the Mississippi River to Ocean Springs, MS including Lake Borgne...7-11 ft
Ocean Springs, MS to Dauphin Island, AL including Mobile Bay...6-9 ft
Dauphin Island, AL to AL/FL Border...4-7 ft
Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas...3-5 ft
Port Fourchon, LA to Mouth of the Mississippi River...2-4 ft
AL/FL Border to Okaloosa/Walton County Line, FL including Pensacola Bay and Choctawhatchee Bay...2-4 ft
Okaloosa/Walton County Line, FL to Chassahowitzka, FL including Saint Andrew Bay...1-3 ft
Burns Point, LA to Port Fourchon, LA...1-2 ft
Overtopping of local levees outside of the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System is possible where local inundation values may be higher than those shown above.
The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and damaging waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances. For information specific to your area, please see products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.
WIND: Hurricane conditions are expected to begin within the hurricane warning area late tonight and Tuesday. Tropical storm conditions expected to begin within the warning area this evening.
RAINFALL: Sally is expected to be a slow moving system as it approaches land, producing 8 to 16 inches of rainfall with isolated amounts of 24 inches over portions of the central Gulf Coast from the western Florida Panhandle to far southeast Louisiana through the middle of the week. Life-threatening flash flooding is likely. In addition, this rainfall will likely lead to widespread minor to
isolated major flooding on area rivers.
Sally is forecast to move farther inland early Wednesday and track across the Southeast producing rainfall of 4 to 8 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches, across portions of eastern Mississippi, central Alabama, northern Georgia and the western Carolinas. Significant flash and urban flooding is likely, as well as widespread minor to moderate flooding on some rivers.
Outer bands of Sally are expected to produce additional rainfall of 1 to 3 inches across the Florida peninsula today. This rainfall may produce flash and urban flooding and prolong high flows and ongoing minor flooding on rivers across central Florida.
TORNADOES: A tornado or two are possible through tonight over coastal areas of the Florida Panhandle and southern Alabama. The threat of tornadoes is expected to increase on Tuesday in these areas, as well as over parts of southern Mississippi and extreme southeast Louisiana.
SURF: Swells from Sally will continue to affect areas from the west coast of the Florida peninsula westward through the coast of southeastern Louisiana 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.
Data and graphic credit: National Hurricane Center