Storm Sally Would Make Landfall As a Hurricane Near New Orleans

Tropical Storm Sally threatens southern US 1:22

(WAB NEWS) – Tropical Storm Sally could be a Category 2 hurricane when it hits the U.S. near New Orleans on Tuesday morning.

Hurricane warnings have already been issued from Morgan City, Louisiana, east of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, including New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain, and Lake Maurepas. Sally continues to strengthen throughout the Gulf of Mexico with sustained winds of 96 km / h.

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Storm surges of up to 2 to 3.3 meters are possible near the center of the storm and just east of where it is expected to make landfall. Along with storm surge, extreme amounts of rainfall of more than a foot are expected in some places between southeastern Louisiana and the western fringe of Florida.

Tropical Storm Sally is the 18th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, the first 18th on record. On Saturday, the storm brought heavy rain and gusts of wind to South Florida as it moved toward the Gulf of Mexico.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency Saturday night before Sally’s arrival. On Sunday he said that he had spoken with President Donald Trump and that he will file a request for a federal declaration before landing.

“Although we ultimately don’t know where Sally will make landfall, much of southeastern Louisiana is in the cone of the storm and the risk of a tropical storm or hurricane force continues to increase. This storm has the potential to be very serious, ”Edwards said in a news release.

“We have every reason to believe that this storm poses a very significant threat to the people of southeast Louisiana,” he added.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves has signed a preliminary state of emergency for the state, he said Sunday. He also sent a request to the president to “provide necessary guidance” for pre-landfall activity, saying he expected the storm to “persist in most parts of the state for basically 48 hours.”

In New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a mandatory evacuation order for residents outside of the city’s levee protection system. Evacuation will begin Sunday at 6 pm for the Venetian Isles, Irish Bayou and Lake Catherine areas.

Cantrell said Sunday that sandbags were available throughout the city and that the water pumps are in place and working.

Off the Louisiana coast, Grand Isle and St. Charles Parish are under mandatory evacuation declarations, and a recommended evacuation notice has been sent to the Port Fourchon community.

“We want residents to heed our warnings and make preparations to leave now,” St. Charles District President Matthew Jewell said on the district’s official Facebook page.

Three jails with 1,200 inmates in total have been evacuated, Edwards said Sunday, and at least one nursing home is being evacuated.

The Gulf Coast expects 6 to 12 inches of rain

Flash flood advisories are in effect along the Gulf Coast in much of southern Louisiana, east of the Florida Panhandle, and along the western peninsula of Florida. These notices include the City of New Orleans, Biloxi, Mississippi, Mobile, Alabama, and Panama City and Tampa, Florida.

Sally is expected to slow down as she approaches the Gulf Coast, resulting in significant flash flooding throughout the region. Widespread total rainfall of 6 to 12 inches is expected along the Gulf Coast through Wednesday. But isolated rains of up to 50 centimeters are not ruled out.

The combination of extreme rains and storm surge will cause widespread flooding across much of the Gulf Coast starting Monday. They will last at least until Wednesday.

Most forecast models show Sally moving toward the northern Gulf Coast and likely making landfall somewhere between New Orleans and Panama City by Monday or Tuesday night. However, if the route drifts further west or slows down, landfall may be delayed until Wednesday.

“The cyclone will likely become a hurricane in 2 to 3 days, although an increase in vertical shear could decrease the rate of intensification in the northern Gulf of Mexico,” according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC, for its acronym in English). ).

Once you get to that area of ​​the Gulf Coast, the steering patterns break down and the system snakes close to shore.

Whether the meander is offshore before making landfall or on land it won’t make much difference in terms of rainfall. In any case, due to slow progress along the Gulf Coast, significant flooding is possible.

LEE: Tropical storm Sally forms in the Gulf of Mexico

Active Hurricane Season Stays Busy

Another system, Tropical Depression 20, formed in the central tropical Atlantic on Saturday, according to the NHC. Twenty has sustained winds of 56 km / h.

The 20th is expected to become a tropical storm on Sunday night and a hurricane on Tuesday, and if so, it will be called Teddy. The previous record for the 19th named storm is October 4, 2005.

So far this season, there have been 18 named storms. The average for a full season is 12. Earlier in the season, tipsters called for a very active season.

Many storms broke records for being the fastest to have a name to date. All but three (Arthur, Bertha and Dolly) set records for being the first named storm for their respective lyrics. After Sally, there are only three names left on this year’s official list: Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred. After that, the NHC will switch to the Greek alphabet.

Sally is just one of several systems in the Atlantic. The NHC is currently observing seven areas: one hurricane, one tropical storm, two tropical depressions, and three tropical disturbances. Thursday marked the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season.

LEE: Tropical storms Paulette and Rene form, continuing the extremely active 2020 hurricane season

Hurricane Paulette is currently over the island of Bermuda and will potentially make landfall early Monday morning as a Category 2. A hurricane warning is in effect for Bermuda and hurricane conditions are expected tonight.

On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that it is issuing a La Niña advisory, which means that La Niña conditions are present in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean.

In a typical El Niño phase, much of the Pacific Ocean is characterized by warmer waters, while La Niña presents a cooling of those same Pacific waters. In the case of hurricanes, La Niña weakens strong atmospheric winds. This allows the hot air pockets to grow vertically and become hurricanes.

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