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Hurricane Sally slips southeast of us, hammers the Gulf Coast

Hurricane Sally is on track to make landfall over the Alabama Coast early Wednesday morning.
Hurricane Sally is on track to make landfall over the Alabama Coast early Wednesday morning.(WTOK)
Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 9:09 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Hurricane Sally is on track to make landfall along the Alabama Gulf Coast early Wednesday morning.

The last 24 hours of Sally has been a good news situation all around. It’s not good that a hurricane is set to make landfall and is lashing the coast with a destructive storm surge and 80-85 mph winds. But it’s better than what looked to be a major hurricane with double the storm surge and 115 mph winds just 24 hours ago.

The weakening is a double dose of bad for a hurricane. Strong upper level winds increased, disrupting the organization and structure of the hurricane. The wind blowing over the water is transferring energy to the water, which makes the water mix up a lot more. That’s causing cool water upwelling from deeper down. That cooler water is evaporating and further cooling the inflow of heat energy into the hurricane’s core. Limit a hurricane’s influx of energy is one certain way to cause some weakening.

Local Affects in East Mississippi and West Alabama

The shift in the forecast to the east means this is an issue south and southeast of us. We will become increasingly gusty tonight and stay that way through about mid-morning Wednesday. We will get a few showers, easily. The way we could get bigger rain is if the circulation weakens quickly and the rain field expands. Some dry air from the northwest may prevent that for us in East Mississippi and West Alabama.

Coastal Affects

On the coast, the storm surge will range from 3-6 feet for Alabama and the Western Florida Panhandle, and it will generally run 2-4 feet along the Mississippi Coast. Hurricane-force-winds will come ashore after 10 PM tonight over Dauphin Island and spread north through Mobile and Baldwin counties, weakening by midday Wednesday. Tropical-storm-force winds will span from the Mississippi Coast to nearly Panama City, Florida. They are spreading inland already and will gradually diminish through midnight Wednesday night.

Copyright 2020 WTOK. All rights reserved.

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