Sally Has Weakened to a Tropical Storm, Catastrophic & Life-Threatening Flooding Continues

| September 16, 2020 @ 1:00 pm

BULLETIN
Tropical Storm Sally Intermediate Advisory Number 22A
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL192020
100 PM CDT Wed Sep 16 2020

SUMMARY OF 100 PM CDT…1800 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…30.9N 87.1W
ABOUT 30 MI…45 KM NNE OF PENSACOLA FLORIDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…70 MPH…110 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NNE OR 30 DEGREES AT 5 MPH…7 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…982 MB…29.00 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
——————–

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…
* Alabama/Florida border to the Walton/Bay County Line Florida

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Mississippi/Alabama border eastward to Indian Pass Florida

DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK
———————-

At 100 PM CDT (1800 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Sally was located by NWS Doppler radar and surface observations near latitude 30.9 North, longitude 87.1 West. Sally is moving toward the north-northeast near 5 mph (7 km/h), and a north-northeastward to northeastward motion at a slightly faster forward speed is expected this afternoon and tonight. A faster northeastward motion is forecast Thursday and Thursday night. On the forecast track, the center of Sally will move across the extreme western Florida panhandle and southeastern Alabama through early Thursday, move over central Georgia on Thursday, and move over South Carolina Thursday night.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 70 mph (110 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional weakening is expected as the center moves farther inland this afternoon and tonight, and Sally is forecast to become a tropical depression by Thursday morning.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km) from the center. A sustained wind of 49 mph (80 km/h) and a gust of 76 mph (122 km/h) was recently reported at an unofficial observing site at Tate High School, near Pensacola, Florida. A sustained wind of 47 mph (76 km/h) and a gust to 60 mph (96 km/h) was recently observed at the Okaloosa Fishing Pier, near Okaloosa Island, Florida.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 982 MB (29.00 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
———————-

RAINFALL: Through this afternoon, Sally will produce additional rainfall totals of 8 to 12 inches with localized higher amounts possible along and just inland of the central Gulf Coast from west of Tallahassee, Florida to Mobile Bay, Alabama. Storm totals of 10 to 20 inches to isolated amounts of 35 inches are expected. Historic and catastrophic flooding, including widespread moderate to major river flooding, is unfolding.

Sally will track across the Southeast through Friday, producing the following rainfall totals:

Central Alabama to central Georgia: 4 to 8 inches, with isolated amounts of 12 inches. Significant flash and urban flooding is likely, as well as widespread minor to moderate flooding on some rivers.

Western South Carolina into western and central North Carolina: 4 to 6 inches, with isolated amounts of 9 inches. Widespread flash and urban flooding are possible, as well as minor to moderate river flooding.

Southeast Virginia: 2 to 5 inches, with isolated amounts of 7 inches. Scattered flash and urban flooding is possible, as well as scattered minor river flooding.

STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide…

AL/FL Border to Okaloosa/Walton County Line, FL including Pensacola Bay and Choctawhatchee Bay…3-5 ft
Okaloosa/Walton County Line, FL to Walton/Bay County Line, FL…2-4 ft
Walton/Bay County Line, FL to Chassahowitzka, FL including Saint
Andrew Bay…1-3 ft

The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and damaging waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle and can vary greatly over short distances.

WIND & TORNADOES: Tropical storm conditions will continue in portions of the warning areas through tonight. A few tornadoes may occur today and tonight across portions of the Florida Panhandle, southeast Alabama, and southwest Georgia.

SURF: Swells from Sally will continue to affect the Gulf Coast from the Florida Big Bend westward to southeastern Louisiana during the next day or so. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Category: Alabama's Weather, ALL POSTS, Severe Weather, Tropical

About the Author ()

Scott Martin is an operational meteorologist, professional graphic artist, musician, husband, and father. Not only is Scott a member of the National Weather Association, but he is also the Central Alabama Chapter of the NWA president. Scott is also the co-founder of Racecast Weather, which provides forecasts for many racing series across the USA. He also supplies forecasts for the BassMaster Elite Series events including the BassMaster Classic.

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