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Hurricane Warnings issued for the area, Sally expected to be stronger at landfall

Tropical Storm Sally is expected to strengthen in the Gulf of Mexico and make landfall in Southeast Louisiana as a category 2 storm late Monday night into Tuesday.

NEW ORLEANS —

TROPICAL STORM SALLY

A hurricane warning has been issued from Grand Isle to Ocean Springs Mississippi. This includes the New Orleans metro and the northshore.

As of 4 AM Sunday, Tropical Storm Sally was in the far eastern Gulf of Mexico. Winds increased to 50 mph with movement a little faster WNW at 13 mph.

Sally is forecast to strengthen to become a Category 2 hurricane over warm Gulf waters ahead of possible landfall on Tuesday along the Gulf Coast, possibly along Southeast Louisiana or South Mississippi. 

There are still uncertainties with the track and intensity, but the current forecast would bring flooding rain, strong winds and surge into parts of Southeast Louisiana and South Mississippi starting during the day Monday and continuing through Wednesday.

A storm surge warning was issued for the southeast Louisiana coast from the mouth of the Mississippi River to the Alabama/Florida state line. The highest surge of 7-11 feet is forecast from the mouth of the Mississippi to Ocean Springs, MS. A surge of 4-6 feet is forecast for Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. A surge of 4-7′ is possible from Port Fourchon to the mouth of the river.

And a flash flood watch is in effect for much of the area for a potential 6-12 inches of rain with isolated totals up to 18 inches.

Tropical storm force winds (39 mph or higher) could start to move into the area on Monday and slowly spread over the area going into Tuesday. Hurricane force winds will be possible starting early Tuesday.

There is still uncertainty with Sally, so we’ll track it closely through the weekend. Sunday would be a great day to get your preparations done, since impacts aren’t expected here until Monday. Many more updates will be coming.

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RELATED: What is a Potential Tropical Cyclone?

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Hurricane season forecast to become “extremely active”

NOAA released their August hurricane season forecast update and called for an ‘extremely active’ season. The forecast called for 19-25 named storms, 7-11 hurricanes and 3-6 major hurricanes. These numbers already include nine named storms and two hurricanes. 

The reasons for the extremely active season: 

• Warmer than normal sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic and Caribbean

• Enhanced West African Monsoon (rainy) season – causes tropical waves

• Possible La Nina forming in the months ahead

• Reduced wind shear over the Atlantic basin – allows storms to develop

Now is the time to be prepared. Typically, the season becomes more active in the next week or two with the peak on September 10th. 

The expert forecasters at Colorado State issued their August update on the 2020 hurricane season. Their forecast now calls for 24 named storms (total for the season), 12 hurricanes and five major hurricanes.

That’s an increase of four named storms, three hurricanes, and one major hurricane.

Should there be 24 named storms, they would run out of names and have to go to the Greek alphabet, like in 2005.

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