Miami, Fl.(Florida News Network)- At 1100 PM EDT, the center of Hurricane Sally was located near latitude 28.9 North, longitude 87.6 West, about about 90 miles east of the mouth of the Mississippi River, and about 130 miles southeast of Biloxi, Mississippi.
Sally is moving toward the west-northwest near 3 mph and this motion is expected to continue through Tuesday morning. A northward turn is likely by Tuesday afternoon, and a slow north-northeastward to northeastward motion is expected Tuesday night through Wednesday night. On the forecast track, the center of Sally will move near the coast of southeastern Louisiana tonight and Tuesday, and make landfall in the hurricane warning area Tuesday night or Wednesday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 100 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast early Tuesday and Sally is expected to be a dangerous hurricane when it moves onshore along the north-central Gulf coast.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles . A buoy south of Dauphin Island, Alabama, recently reported sustained winds of 61 mph and a wind gust of 69 mph .
The estimated minimum central pressure based on data from the NOAA and Air Force Hurricane Hunters is 986 mb (29.12 inches).
Data and graphic credit:National Hurricane Center
STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide.
Mouth of the Mississippi River to Dauphin Island including Lake Borgne...6-9 ft
Ocean Springs, MS to Dauphin Island, AL including Mobile Bay...6-9ft
Dauphin Island, AL to AL/FL Border...4-7 ft
Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas...3-5 ft
Port Fourchon, LA to Mouth of the Mississippi River...2-4 ft
AL/FL Border to Okaloosa/Walton County Line, FL including Pensacola Bay and Choctawhatchee Bay...2-4 ft
Okaloosa/Walton County Line, FL to Chassahowitzka, FL including Saint Andrew Bay...1-3 ft
Burns Point, LA to Port Fourchon, LA...1-2 ft
Overtopping of local levees outside of the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System is possible where local inundation values may be higher than those shown above.
The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and damaging waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances. For information specific to your area, please see products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.
WIND: Hurricane conditions are expected to begin within the hurricane warning area later tonight and Tuesday. Tropical storm conditions expected to begin within the warning area during the next few hours.
RAINFALL: Sally is expected to be a slow moving system as it approaches land, producing 8 to 16 inches of rainfall with isolated amounts of 24 inches over portions of the central Gulf Coast from the western Florida Panhandle to far southeastern Mississippi through the middle of the week. Life-threatening flash flooding is likely. In addition, this rainfall will likely lead to widespread minor to isolated major flooding on area rivers.
Sally is forecast to turn inland early Wednesday and track across the Southeast producing rainfall of 4 to 8 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches, across portions of eastern Mississippi, central Alabama, northern Georgia, southeastern Tennessee, and the western Carolinas. Significant flash and urban flooding is likely, as well as widespread minor to moderate flooding on some rivers.
Outer bands of Sally could produce additional rainfall of 1 to 3 inches across the Florida peninsula through tonight. This rainfall may produce flash and urban flooding and prolong high flows and ongoing minor flooding on rivers across central Florida.
TORNADOES: A tornado or two will be possible late tonight through early Tuesday in coastal areas of the Florida Panhandle and Alabama. The threat for tornadoes should increase and slowly spread inland during the day on Tuesday.
SURF: Swells from Sally will continue to affect the coast from the Florida Big Bend westward to southeastern Louisiana during the next couple of days. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.