10:00 a.m. update: Hurricane warnings have been expanded west now to include Morgan City. Tropical Storm Warning now issued from Intracoastal City to Morgan City.
The National Hurricane Center says that Sally is moving west-northwestward at about 10 kt. The tropical storm should continue on that general heading and speed over the next 12 to 24 hours as it steered around the southern flank of a mid-level ridge.
After 24 hours, Sally is expected to be near the western portion of the ridge which should cause the storm to slow down and turn northwestward.
Sally is expected to have winds at maximum 90 mph at landfall.
Tropical Storm Sally formed in the eastern Gulf of Mexico early Saturday afternoon with winds of 40 mph.
The storm is expected to reach hurricane strength as it nears the northern Gulf coast sometime late in the day on Monday.
As of now, the forecast track calls for Sally to make landfall somewhere along the SE LA/Mississippi coastlines.
This is not a set in stone forecast as the cone of uncertainty remains somewhat large beyond the Monday time frame.
This is due to the fact that upper-level steering currents are expected to break down and become weak for early this week which could potentially lead to the storm stalling out for a couple of days and perhaps drift ever so slowly northwestward.
Obviously with a slow moving storm, the main concern would be heavy rainfall in the days ahead, especially for those on the eastern side of where the storm makes landfall.
At this time, the worst of the impacts and heaviest of the rainfall totals is still expected to be well east of the Acadiana region.
However, we do not have to go too far to see really impressive and life threatening estimated rainfall totals.
Here's a look at two of our most reliable models and their respective estimates on precipitation through the next week.
Euro is the most aggressive, but it paints the picture that some areas along Gulf Coast could easily pick up over a foot of rainfall.
Again, it appears these higher amounts will stay off to our east, but that does not mean we should let our guards down by any means.
Hurricane WATCHES are now in effect for parts of the South Louisiana and Mississippi coastlines. These do NOT include areas in Acadiana at this time.
I hear the phrase "Well it's just a category storm" often, but you have to remember that every storm is different from the other (We could potentially even see the storm get a bit stronger than that upon landfall).
In this case we are expecting a slow moving storm which means surge and flooding will be a major concern for those in SE LA and other parts of the northern Gulf Coast.
So for those following us in those areas, I can not stress enough how important it is to take the storm seriously and to be prepared. Not panicked, but simply be prepared. Stay safe everyone!