Sally strengthens to a hurricane as Paulette slams Bermuda
Sally is a tropical storm this morning with winds of 65 mph.
September 14, 2020, 4:53 PM
• 6 min read
A series of storms is moving through the Atlantic, marking the first time in almost 50 years there are five tropical cyclones simultaneously.
A tropical wave is over the Gulf of Mexico, while Hurricane Sally is getting closer to making landfall in the Gulf Coast. Meanwhile, Hurricane Paulette and Tropical Storms Rene, Teddy and Vicky are out further in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Gulf Coast is on alert for Hurricane Sally Monday, which strengthened to a hurricane mid-morning Monday with winds of 85 mph. As of 12 pm ET, the hurricane is about 135 east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River.
A hurricane warning has been issued from Morgan City, Louisiana, into parts of Alabama, and including metropolitan New Orleans. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has issued a state of emergency, saying “bad weather is nothing to take lightly.”
The latest path takes Sally just near the mouth of the Mississippi River sometime Tuesday morning as a Category 2 hurricane but, as of Monday morning, it’s hard to say if it will make landfall there.
The storm is expected to slow down and move toward the Mississippi coastline on Tuesday afternoon, and then, possibly, make landfall as Cat 2 with winds of 105 mph. This could all change depending on how much it slows down and its turn to the north.
Storm surge remains a big threat as Sally makes landfall. Because of its slow motion, more water could pile up in the bays and inlets along the Gulf Coast.
Storm surge warning is in effect for Port Fourchon, Louisiana, to the Alabama/Florida border, Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas and Lake Borgne, as well as Mobile Bay.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has deployed the Texas A&M Task Force 1 to Louisiana at the request of FEMA in preparation for Sally.
Flooding from rainfall is another major threat with Sally because of its slow motion, and some areas could see 15 to 20 inches of rain in the next several days with locally some areas seeing more than 20 inches.
Elsewhere, Hurricane Paulette hit Bermuda and is moving away from the island as of mid-morning Monday. Strong winds and torrential rain is still impacting the island.
The hurricane is expected to head east and not make further landfall.
Elsewhere in the tropics, there is a new tropical storm, Teddy.
Teddy is forecast to become a major hurricane by this weekend as it moves in the general direction of Bermuda, but it is too early to say if Bermuda will get hit again.
Additionally, Tropical Storm Vicky formed in the eastern Atlantic, becoming the 20th named storm of the 2020 hurricane season. That storm is currently in open ocean and not threatening any major landmass.
Vicky is the earliest 20th named storm on record. The previous record for reaching 20 named storms in a hurricane season was in 2005 — on Oct. 5.