The 1PM National Hurricane Center Advisory now has Sally moving Northwest at 2 miles per hour with 85 mile per hour wind speeds. Sally will likely make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane along the Alabama Gulf Coast early Wednesday morning.
At 1AM it was moving west at 3 miles per hour, at 4AM it was moving west, northwest at 2 miles per hour, and at 7AM it was moving northwest at 2 miles per hour.
Hence, the storm has weakened in intensity as far as wind gusts, downgraded one category overnight, but rainfall amounts plus surge impacts will heighten because of its slow moving nature.
Now that Hurricane Sally has turned and basically stalled, little wobbles are to be expected before landfall early Wednesday morning.
Residents in extreme southeast Mississippi, south Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle should batten down the hatches for a likely hurricane strike late tonight to early tomorrow afternoon.
This is a situation where “It’s just a Category 1” is not an accurate depiction of the impacts that will be felt. Remember, the “category” classification is based on only wind speeds, but does not take rainfall amounts or surge potential into effect. Slow-moving Sally will bring flash flooding, longer duration wind impacts, and significant storm surge along and east of where the center comes ashore.
Historic rainfall is possible in south Alabama and along the Florida Panhandle. The Weather Prediction Center shows 12 to 20+ inches in rainfall totals possible. The National Weather Service office in Mobile is mentioning some localized spots could receive an isolated 30 inches of rain from this system.