Tracking the Tropics: Tropical Storm Sally gaining strength as it approaches northern Gulf Coast

Tracking the Tropics

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Sally reached hurricane strength on Monday, becoming the seventh hurricane of 2020.

Hurricane Sally is just one of several systems churning in an extremely active Atlantic basin. We’re also keeping an eye on Hurricane Paulette, Tropical Storm Teddy, Tropical Storm Vicky and Tropical Depression Rene as well as disturbance and a tropical wave that is expected to emerge off the coast of Africa in the coming days.

Hurricane Sally

Sally is gaining strength as it moves over the north Central Gulf this morning and reached Category 1 hurricane strength around noon on Monday.

The storm is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge, hurricane-force winds and flash flooding to the northern Gulf Coast.

At 11:30 a.m., the NHC said the storm had maximum sustained winds of 90 mph. It’s about 130 miles east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

Forecasters predict Sally will move over the north-central Gulf today, nearing southeastern Louisiana this afternoon. It’s expected to make landfall in the hurricane warning area on Tuesday, then move slowly north-northeastward near the northern Gulf Coast through Wednesday.

The storm is expected to dump 8 to 16 inches of rain on the central Gulf Coast with isolated amounts of 24 inches.

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for:

  • Port Fourchon Louisiana to the Alabama/Florida Border
  • Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Lake Borgne
  • Mobile Bay

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:

  • Morgan City Louisiana to the Mississippi/Alabama Border
  • Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas including metropolitan New

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Mississippi/Alabama Border to Indian Pass Florida
  • Intracoastal City Louisiana to west of Morgan City

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for:

  • Mississippi/Alabama Border to the Alabama/Florida Border

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

  • Indian Pass to Ochlockonee River Florida

Hurricane Paulette

Paulette reached Category 2 strength as it started moving away from Bermuda Monday morning. It was still battering the island with hurricane-force winds and torrential rains.

At 11 a.m., the storm had maximum sustained winds of 100 mph and was stationary about 65 miles north of Bermuda.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Bermuda.

Tropical Storm Teddy

Tropical Storm Teddy, the earliest “T” named storm on record, formed in the Atlantic Monday from Tropical Depression 20 and is forecast to reach hurricane strength later this week, the National Hurricane Center said.

At 5 a.m., the storm had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and was about 1,110 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands. It’s moving west-northwest at 14 mph.

The storm is expected to move west-northwest for the next day or two, and turn toward the northwest in the next couple of days as it strengthens into a hurricane.

Teddy has replaced 2005’s Tammy as the earliest “T” storm on record.

Tropical Depression Rene

Forecasters say Rene is hanging on as a tropical depression this morning.

At 5 a.m., the storm had maximum sustained winds of 30 mph and was 1,115 miles northeast of the Leeward Islands.

Tropical Storm Vicky

Tropical Depression 21 strengthened into Tropical Storm Vicky Monday morning. The storm is churning over the far eastern tropical Atlantic, but is expected to be short-lived, the NHC said.

Vicky became the twentieth named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. There is only one name left on the hurricane list, Wilfred, until forecasters start using the Greek alphabet.

Other areas to watch

Forecasters are also watching an area of low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico and a tropical wave that’s about to emerge off Africa.

The first disturbance, located over the west-central Gulf of Mexico, is producing limited shower activity and has a low 10% chance of development in the next five days.

The NHC is also monitoring a tropical wave near the west coast of Africa. The wave is producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms and has a 40% chance of developing in the next five days.

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