1pm Update from the National Hurricane Center: No changes for now, new track and intensity forecast will be coming out at 4pm...
A slight westward shift in the cone of Tropical Storm Sally has Acadiana right on the edge, while landfall is still expected closer to New Orleans it's too close for Acadiana to ignore the storm completely.
The latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center has the warnings expand westward, to include portions of Acadiana with the Hurricane Warning now expanded west to Morgan City and Tropical Storm Warnings expanded to Intracoastal City.
As of 10:00 a.m. winds were around 60 mph has Sally is beginning to intensify, and while it's dealt with a little shear which has been holding it back that shear is expected to weaken later today allowing Sally to reach hurricane strength.
Folks along SE Louisiana should be prepared for Category 2 landfall with winds close to 100 mph late Monday/early Tuesday morning, however, tropical weather will begin to arrive along the coast on Monday afternoon.
As mentioned above there has been a slight westward shift in the track and that will be trend to watch, since Acadiana is on the edge small changes in the track could have out-sized changes in the anticipated impacts.
One of the bigger issues with this storm is it's speed as it will slow as it approaches the coast as the steering pattern breaks down, this could lead to prolonged impacts with flooding the most serious threat.
Areas along the Gulf Coast, especially east of the center, should be prepared for 6-12" of rain with isolated amounts of about a foot and half possible, this could lead to widespread Flash Flooding and local waterway spilling over their banks.
Storm Surge is also expected to be a major issue, again compounded by the slow moving nature of the storm, 7-11 feet of surge is possible between the mouth of the Mississippi and Ocean Springs, Ms. and a 4-6 ft surge along Lake Ponchartrain.
Areas is SE Louisiana have been ordered to evacuate and I would urge everyone to listen to local emergency management officials and heed their warnings, especially if you are outside the levee protection system.
Winds around the center may approach 100 mph which will be able to cause significant damage and tropical storm forced winds will spread out across a large portion of the central Gulf Coast, winds will arrive by Monday evening in SE Louisiana.
On its current trajectory Acadiana would see very gusty conditions with winds coming in from the north as it wraps around the low, but once again I want to stress the uncertain nature of forecasting.
It's still very close to home so we need to make sure we are continuing to monitor the situation as it evolves.
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