Hurricane Sally hitting Gulf Coast hard, local impacts minimal
MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - UPDATE (5:45 AM): The tropical storm warning for Choctaw County has been canceled. Winds locally will top out around 35 mph, which is below tropical storm-force strength. The flash flood watch has been canceled for Sumter County.
The flash flood watch continues for Choctaw County until Thursday at 1 p.m, although it will likely be canceled earlier than that. A wind advisory has been issued for Sumter County. It will expire at 7 a.m. Thursday. Winds in Sumter County will be between 15 and 25 mph, with gusts up to 35 mph.
UPDATE (5:00 AM): Hurricane Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores, AL with sustained winds at 105 mph.
PREVIOUS DISCUSSION BELOW:
Hurricane Sally is nearing landfall near the Alabama and Florida border as of 4:30 this morning. After Sally saw some weakening yesterday, it quickly gained strength back into a category 2 hurricane with 105 mph winds. Significant flooding, storm surge, tornadoes, and destructive winds are occurring along the coast in Alabama and western Florida this morning.
Sally will quickly weaken once on land and will move across the western Florida panhandle and into southeast Alabama. By Thursday afternoon, Sally will be a tropical depression moving through Georgia. Sally’s center will be far enough away from our area that we won’t see major impacts; however heavy rain and breezy conditions are still expected for many of us Wednesday.
We’ll see periods of rain throughout the day on Wednesday, mainly in West Alabama. We’ll top out between 1 and 3 inches of rain, with totals on the lower end of that in the Mississippi counties that border Alabama. You are more likely to see up to 3 inches in Choctaw County, especially in southeast portions of the county.
Minor flash flooding will still be possible in Sumter and Choctaw Counties; and as such, flash flood watches still remain in effect for those counties. Sustained winds will be between 15 and 30 mph on our Wednesday, with wind gusts topping out at 40 mph in Choctaw County. With that chance of one or two 40 mph wind gusts in Choctaw County, a tropical storm warning remains in effect there.
A few showers will be possible overnight, otherwise we will begin to dry things out heading into Thursday morning. Winds will also die down overnight, dropping to 8-15 mph.
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