English English Spanish Español
Temporarily change filter
Finding your station

Sally Moving Inland; Extreme Flood and Tornado Risk Continues in Panhandle

September 16, 2020
30 MPH
1000 MB

1. Widespread flooding is expected from central Georgia through southeastern Virginia. Along the central Gulf Coast, most widespread moderate to major river flooding from the historic rainfall event will crest by the weekend, but rivers will remain elevated well into next week.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

Key messages for Sally can be found in the Tropical Cyclone Discussion under AWIPS header MIATCDAT4 and WMO header WTNT44 KNHC, and on the web at www.hurricanes.gov/text/MIATCDAT4.shtml

RAINFALL: Rainfall totals expected as Sally moves across the Southeast U.S. through Friday: Central Georgia: Sally will produce additional rainfall totals of 3 to 6 inches, with localized higher amounts, on top of 3 to 6 inches which has already fallen. Widespread flash flooding and minor to moderate river flooding is likely. Central to upstate South Carolina: 3 to 6 inches, with isolated amounts of 10 inches. Widespread flash flooding and minor to moderate river flooding is likely. Western to central North Carolina into southcentral and southeast Virginia: 4 to 6 inches, isolated amounts up to 8 inches. Flash flooding and widespread minor river flooding is likely.

STORM SURGE: Water levels will continue to recede through the day today.

TORNADOES: A couple of tornadoes may occur early this morning across southern Georgia and northern Florida. The threat of tornadoes will shift northeastward into eastern Georgia and much of the Carolinas today and tonight.

SURF: Swells from Sally will continue to affect the Gulf Coast from the Florida Big Bend westward to southeastern Louisiana through today. These swells are likely to cause lifethreatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.

At 400 AM CDT (0900 UTC), the center of Tropical Depression Sally was located near latitude 31.8 North, longitude 85.7 West. The depression is moving toward the northeast near 12 mph (19 km/h), and a northeastward to eastnortheastward motion is expected into Friday. On the forecast track, the center of Sally will move across southeastern Alabama this morning, over central Georgia this afternoon and evening, and move over South Carolina late tonight into Friday.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 30 mph (45 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional weakening is forecast during the next couple of days, and Sally is expected to become a remnant low by tonight or Friday morning.

The estimated minimum central pressure based on nearby surface observations is 1000 mb (29.53 inches).

Although the overall convective cloud and rain shield in satellite and radar imagery continues to erode, Tropical Depression Sally is still producing significant rainfall across east-central Alabama and west-central and central Georgia. Surface observations and Doppler radar data indicate that Sally has weakened to a 25-kt depression over southeastern Alabama. Sally will continue to weaken, and fairly rapidly at that, due to increasing friction and loss of convection owing to very hostile westerly to southwesterly vertical wind shear in excess of 40 kt. Sally will likely degenerate into a remnant low pressure system by tonight or early Friday, and merge with a frontal system over North Carolina by Friday evening.

Sally is moving northeastward or 055/10 kt. A northeastward to east-northeastward motion will continue for the next 36 hours or so as the cyclone moves ahead of a broad deep-layer trough over the northeastern United States. The official track forecast is downthe middle of the tightly packed NHC model guidance suite, and lies close to the previous advisory track and the consensus model HCCA.This is the last NHC advisory on Sally. Future information on this system, including the rainfall threat, can be found in Public Advisories issued by the Weather Prediction Center beginning at 10 AM CDT, under AWIPS header TCPAT3, WMO header WTNT34 KWNH, and on the web at http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov

Hurricane Sally strengthened to a category 2 storm during the overnight hours of Tuesday with top sustained winds of 105 mph. The northern and eastern eyewall was moving over the Alabama coastline and Escambia county, Florida based on radar observations early Wednesday morning.

The center of the eye is forecast to come ashore between Mobile and Pensacola during the mid hours of Wednesday. Hurricane force conditions were occurring in the western Panhandle based on ground reports from wind sensors.

Flash Flood Warnings continued over a large portion of the Florida Panhandle from Panama City westward. Rainfall estimates from doppler radar indicate between 1 and 2 feet of rain have already fallen, particularly south of Interstate 10 in Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa counties. Upwards of a foot of rain has fallen in the Panama City area based on radar estimates.

Tornado Watches continued for much of the Panhandle, and several tornado warnings have been issued between Destin and Panama City as of early Wednesday morning.

Another foot of rain is forecast over the western Panhandle through Thursday, which is expected to exacerbate the ongoing flash flooding. Effects from the storm are possible as far east as Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Gainesville, and the Nature Coast area, where occasional rain bands may lead to isolated areas of flash flooding and brief tornadoes Wednesday afternoon and night.

Conditions are expected to slowly improve Thursday evening as the storm weakens and pulls away from the Gulf coast. However, torrential rain is also expected to impact the Carolinas Thursday and Friday before the remnant of Sally finally merges with a cold front and moves into the Atlantic.

Sources include nearest National Weather Service office, National Hurricane Center, and the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (@FloridaStorms).
Sources include nearby emergency management agencies, FEMA, and your local NPR affiliate. 
Sources include the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Highway Patrol and other nearby traffic information.

Partners of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network include: Florida's Division of Emergency Management, WDNA (Miami), WFIT (Melbourne), WMFE (Orlando), WFSU (Tallahassee), WGCU (Fort Myers), WJCT (Jacksonville), WKGC (Panama City), WLRN (Miami), WMNF (Tampa-Sarasota), WQCS (Fort Pierce), WUFT (Gainesville-Ocala), WUSF (Tampa), WUWF (Pensacola) and Florida Public Media.

1885 Stadium Road

PO Box 118400

Gainesville, FL 32611

(352) 392-5551

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram