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Tropical Storm Sally forecast to hit Gulf Coast as a slow-moving hurricane

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(NEW YORK) — Tropical Storm Sally is now predicted to make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane late Monday.

The storm has reached winds of 60 mph and is about 135 miles West of St. Petersburg, Florida. The storm is moving west-northwest at 12 mph.

Sally is expected to strengthen today and Monday. Life-threatening storm surge, hurricane winds and torrential rain are expected along the Gulf coast beginning Monday

Heavy rain continues to fall on the eastern side of Sally, especially from the Florida Keys to Sarasota.

Key West, Florida, recorded nearly 4 inches of rain in just one hour overnight causing flash flooding there. Additionally, Key West, also observed 9.37 inches of rain yesterday.

Flood watches have been issued for a large part of the Southeast U.S.

Regardless of the wind speed of Sally, the primary and most major concern remains the water because Sally is expected to slow down dramatically as it approaches the coast line.

Sally’s outer bands should begin to reach the Gulf Coast tomorrow morning. As we move through time, it is evident that Sally does not make significant progress inland until Wednesday morning.

This likely allows for up to 48 hours of storm surge and rainfall which could be a very dangerous situation.

The rainfall forecast now calls for up to 20 inches along the Gulf Coast. As with all hurricanes, this rainfall will be realized east of the center and could cause major flash flooding.

The storm surge forecast is now up to 11 feet, again east of the center. Sally is expected to be a very slow moving storm, with the ability to bring very dangerous storm surge and flash flooding.

In a statement Sunday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said the state is “keeping a close eye” on the storm and that “it is likely that this storm system will be impacting Alabama’s Gulf Coast.”

A mandatory evacuation has been issued for Grand Isle, Louisiana, according to a press release from Grand Isle Mayor David Carmadelle’s office. The town of Grand Isle will open an evacuation center at the Raceland Recreation Center, located at 221 Recreation Drive, Raceland, Louisiana.

Sally is just one of seven tropical systems in the Atlantic basin.

Paulette became a hurricane overnight and is the sixth hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic season and will arrive in Bermuda Sunday night and Early Monday. Hurricane Paulette has winds of 80 mph and remains a Category 1 hurricane. Paulette is heading northwest towards Bermuda. Hurricane conditions will arrive in Bermuda later Sunday night.

There are also two more tropical waves pushing off Africa as well as Tropical Depression 20.

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