(WXXV) – Sally was upgraded to Category 1 hurricane, starting 11:30 am Monday.
The National Hurricane Center says that NOAA hurricane chasers find the storm has grown rapidly. Maximum sustained winds are near 90 mph with stronger gusts.
Sally is moving west-northwest near 7 mph. This general movement is expected today, followed by a decrease in forward speed and a northwest turn this evening and a north turn on Tuesday.
Strengthening is expected over the next few days or so, and Sally is expected to become a hurricane by this evening, with further strengthening possible before the center crosses the northern Gulf of Mexico coast.
Sally’s center is forecast to move over the north-central Gulf of Mexico today, and close to southeastern Louisiana this afternoon, and make landfall in the alert zone on Tuesday. hurricanes. Thereafter, Sally is expected to move slowly north-northeast near the northern Gulf of Mexico coast until Wednesday.
Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 125 miles.
WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
- A storm warning is in effect for Port Fourchon, Louisiana up to the Alabama / Florida border, including Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, Lake Borgne and Mobile Bay.
- A hurricane warning is in effect for Morgan City, Louisiana, up to the Alabama-Florida border, including Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas, including the metropolis of New Orleans.
- A tropical storm warning is in effect from the Alabama / Florida border to Indian Pass, Florida and Intracoastal City, Louisiana west of Morgan City, Louisiana.
It is a potentially life-threatening situation. Residents located in these areas should take all necessary measures to protect life and property from rising water levels and the potential for other dangerous conditions. Promptly follow evacuation instructions and other instructions from local authorities.
A hurricane warning means hurricane conditions are expected somewhere in the warning area. A warning is usually issued 36 hours before the first expected appearance of tropical storm force winds, conditions that make outdoor preparations difficult or dangerous. Preparations to protect life and property must be rushed.
A tropical storm warning means tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere in the warning area within 36 hours.
Sally is expected to be a slow-onset system resulting in significant flash floods on the central Gulf Coast Monday through Wednesday.
Sally is expected to produce precipitation of 8 to 16 inches with isolated amounts of 24 inches over parts of the central Gulf Coast from western Florida to southeast Louisiana from Monday to mid of the week.
This rainfall is likely to cause further generalized minor to major isolated flooding to rivers in the region.
Changes in the trajectory and intensity of the forecast are likely over the next few days. Check back for updates.