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Sally starts to show signs of strengthening

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Posted at 4:31 AM, Sep 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-13 08:04:28-04

Tropical Storm Sally is off the peninsula of Florida and will be strengthening over the next couple of days as it heads toward the central Gulf Coast, leaving portions of Louisiana once again monitoring closely a potential land-falling hurricane.

As of the 7:00 advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Sally is currently producing winds around 50 mph and is moving to the WNW around 13 mph.

A Hurricane Warning has been issued for the eastern half of Louisiana which includes the north shore and the New Orleans Metro area, tropical conditions may start to be felt along portions of the Gulf Coast by Wednesday morning.

This will put Acadiana on the western side of a lop sided storm which could help limit some of our local impacts, that being said, small changes to the forecast will mean big impact changes for Acadiana.

Sally is already showing some signs of strengthening despite fighting back against some shear, and with shear weakening over the next 24 hours Sally will start to really pick up and will strengthen into a hurricane on Monday.

Since intensification is occurring so close to landfall it is making, the already tricky intensity forecast, even more complicated so changes with the forecast are to be expected in regards to intensity.

Models so far have been pretty consistent on the track but have gone back and forth with regard to intensity, it'll be important to watch the structure of Sally over the next 24 hours because a well structured storm could intensify quickly.

The storm is expected to slow around landfall which will make heavy, flooding rains the biggest issue with this storm and portions of the Gulf Coast could see upwards of a foot of rain between New Orleans and Pensacola with isolated amounts pushing a foot and half.

Storm surge will be between 7-11 feet from the mouth of the Mississippi River to Ocean Springs, Mississippi and 4-6 feet along Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.

Remember that storm surge forecasts are based on a lot of different factors so don't get caught off guard if those numbers start to change.

Winds around landfall will be roughly 100 mph with the strongest winds confined around, and slightly east of the center but again a quickly intensifying Sally could see those numbers change.

Again while the impacts for Acadiana don't look overly significant our neighbors to the east may be looking at a powerful storm as early as Tuesday morning.

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