Sally continues moving slowly, local threats decreasing
MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - UPDATE (1:30 PM): As of the 1 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center, Sally has weakened slightly to winds of 80 mph.
PREVIOUS DISCUSSION BELOW:
OVERVIEW: Hurricane Sally has sustained winds of 85 mph and is moving very slowly over the Gulf of Mexico. Sally has struggled to regain strength so far; however, there has a been a recent uptick in the amount lightning just before 11:30 this morning that could indicate Sally is trying to strengthen once more.
For now, Sally is expected to make landfall near Fairhope, AL Wednesday morning with winds around 80 mph. It will quickly weaken once moving inland and become a tropical depression south of Montgomery by Thursday morning.
LOCAL IMPACTS: The track of Sally continues to shift to the east of our area. This is good news for us, but we still feel some impacts, mainly in Choctaw County. Heavy rain and tropical storm-force winds are forecast to still occur in mainly southeastern portions of our area. Let’s go into detail now.
Rainfall amounts will be top out between 3 and 5 inches for Choctaw County, southeastern Sumter County, and southeastern Clarke County, MS. This could still lead to flash flooding, but it shouldn’t be as widespread as initially thought.
Rainfall amounts will be between a half an inch and 2 inches elsewhere. Rainfall totals will be lower the farther north and west you go across our area.
Tropical storm-force winds will still be possible, mainly in southeastern portions of our area. A 60 mph wind gusts cannot be entirely ruled out in Choctaw County, but most places will see wind gusts top out between 40 and 50 mph.
Timing has slowed down for this system. Heavy rain won’t pick up for southeastern portions of our area until sunrise on Wednesday. Periods of steady rain will be possible throughout the day on Wednesday, mainly in West Alabama. Other spots will see periods of on and off rain showers associated with the outer bands of Sally.
Tropical storm-force wind gusts likely won’t arrive until Wednesday morning around 7/8 a.m. The wind will start to die down by early Thursday morning.
UNCERTAINTY IN THE FORECAST: If Sally’s forecast track continues to trend eastward (which is very possible), our threats will begin to decrease further. It’s looking increasingly likely that Sally will bring nothing more than just a wet and windy day to our area. As always, make sure to keep up to date with the latest forecast!
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