Hurricane Sally is now holding with 100mph winds and slowly moving (5mph) toward the West Northwest near the coastal region of the western Florida Panhandle.
The outer bands of Sally are moving onshore in the Florida Panhandle. Life-Threatening Storm Surge, Hurricane-Force Winds, and Flash Flooding Likely Along Portions of the Northern Gulf Coast Starting Later Tonight and Tuesday.
Residents in Western Florida, Alabama coastal area, Mississippi coastal area and Eastern Louisiana should pay close attention. All hurricane preparations should be rushed to completion. The storm is expected to turn north, but the timing is uncertain. The wind field is small; however, due to the slow movement the storm surge is a great concern.
Hurricane Center – Sally is moving toward the west-northwest near 5 mph (8 km/h), 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.
Data from reconnaissance aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds are near 100 mph (155 km/h) with higher gusts.
Strengthening is forecast tonight and 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 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km). (link)
This storm is weird… The coastal communities are the most vulnerable and unfortunately there will be several tidal cycles while the storm surge is inbound. However, the inland impact of the storm will continue until the eye-wall crosses onto land.
That means communities inland for several miles will likely see consistent hurricane winds for several hours because the storm is moving slowly onshore. That scale of sustained wind energy will create widespread power outages, however the field of the storm is rather tight at 25 miles.
As the backside of the storm then lumbers ashore and reverses the energy direction, any already compromised infrastructure will not withstand the additional pressure.
In many cases the backside of the storm is worse than the front. If you are inland (Mississippi, Alabama and Florida), prepare yourself for a long duration of extensive wind damage, heavy rain, followed by an extended power outage. Recovery staging is well underway and multiple utility companies are awaiting direction from FEMA and NWS.
Any Treeper who needs assistance can reach out in the comments section or send us an email and we will do everything possible to assist. If you are on the coast, get away from the storm surge. Those further inland hunker down and stay safe.