OFFICIAL: Sally makes landfall as a Category 2 hurricane

Sally to bring feet of rain to parts of Alabama Gulf Coast and Florida Panhandle.

Sally made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane Wednesday morning

ROANOKE, Va.6 a.m. Wednesday Update

Sally made landfall around 5:45 a.m. ET as a Category 2 hurricane near Gulf Shores, Alabama. Some of the strongest wind gusts have been around Fort Morgan, AL at 118 mph. Radar-estimated rain totals northeast of the eye have been between 1-2 feet.

For how the storm will impact us at home, click this link.

2 a.m. Wednesday Update

Sally is moving at 2 mph, and the eye wall is approaching the Mobile Bay. Life-threatening flooding is ongoing, as some places have seen 12-18″ of rain. More is on the way. Extreme wind around the eye wall of the storm will impact the Gulf Coast of Alabama and parts of the Florida Panhandle.

5 a.m. Tuesday Update

Sally is moving at a snail’s pace. Regardless of the fact the storm has “weakened” to a Category 1 hurricane, it will still bring a tremendous amount of rain to parts of the Gulf Coast. For us, we’re looking at 1″ or more of rain late Thursday and Friday in areas south of US 460.

2 a.m. Tuesday Update

Sally is moving at only 3 mph, which means that landfall will be delayed until Wednesday near the Mississippi-Alabama coastline. As of 2 a.m. Tuesday, it is a Category 1 hurricane.

12 p.m. Monday Update

Data from Hurricane Hunters has found that Sally is a Category 1 hurricane over very warm Gulf waters. It is forecast to make landfall Tuesday on the Louisiana-Mississippi border.

11 a.m. Monday Update

Tropical Depression 21 off the west coast of Africa has strengthened into Tropical Storm Vicky, leaving us with only one name left on the Atlantic hurricane season. This is the earliest 'V' storm on record by nearly a month.

8 a.m. Monday Update

The historic pace of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season continues, with four named storms in the Atlantic as of 8 a.m. Monday.

Sally formed over the weekend and is slowly strengthening over warm Gulf waters. It’s slowly strengthening but also slowly moving toward the Mississippi - Alabama coast.

Nothing is around to pull Sally north, so the storm will meander around the Gulf Coast for a few days. This is bad news for parts of southern Mississippi and southern Alabama, where tropical rain will lead to a significant flood threat.

Tracking Sally and how much rain will produce in the Deep South

Eventually, a cold front picks the storm up and shifts it farther to the east. At this point, Sally will be much weaker and turn into a remnant low pressure system. Where it goes from there will be crucial to our forecast late Thursday and Friday.

If the cold front picks it up farther south, then we will see less rain during that time frame. If the cold front picks it up farther north, then we’ll see more rain. At the moment, there’s the chance we see 1-2″+ of rain south of U.S. 460.

Tracking Sally and how much rain will produce in the Mid-Atlantic

We’ll keep you posted to any changes in the storm’s path and its potential impact here.

About the Author:

Meteorologist Chris Michaels is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcaster, forecasting weather conditions in southwest Virginia on WSLS 10 News from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Virginia Today.