Everyone should take precautions, expecting the storm to turn into Hurricane Sally.
Hurricane Sally strengthens to Cat. 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds, NHC says; additional strengthening expected; could bring up to 20 inches of rain in areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama.
(CNN)–Tropical Storm Sally could be a Category 2 hurricane when it reaches the United States near New Orleans on Tuesday morning.
Hurricane warnings have now been issued from Morgan City, Louisiana, east to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, including New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. Sally continues to strengthen across the Gulf of Mexico with sustained winds of 60 mph.
Storm surges of up to 7 to 11 feet are possible near the center of the storm and just east of where landfall is expected. Along with storm surge, extreme rainfall amounts of over a foot are expected in some locations between southeast Louisiana and the western Florida panhandle.
Hurricane Sally is the 18th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, the earliest 18th-named storm on record. On Saturday, the storm brought heavy rain and gusty winds to south Florida as it moved into the Gulf of Mexico.
At 5 p.m. Sunday, Sally was about 165 miles south of Panama City, Florida, heading west-northwest at 9 mph with maximum sustained winds at 60 mph and higher gusts. Tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 90 miles from the center, mainly to the east.
In Florida, parts of the southwest coast can expect between 1 to 3 inches of rainfall, with up to 6 inches possible throughout the day Sunday. These rains may also produce flash and urban flooding.