Advertisement

Sally now a tropical depression

Regardless of wind downgrade, storm expects to bring heavy rain, tornado threat to the viewing area Wednesday evening
Published: Sep. 11, 2020 at 6:01 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2020 at 6:33 PM EDT
Email this link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Sally became a tropical depression Wednesday night, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 11 p.m. advisory.

Watch WCTV’s team coverage of Sally’s impact across the Big Bend in the video player above.

You can read our previous coverage below.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Sally became a tropical storm Wednesday afternoon as it moved farther inland, but heavy rain, flooding and tornado risks remain.

Sally had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph according to the 5 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center. It was moving northeast at 7 mph as it was 85 miles west of Dothan, Ala. It’s expected to continue a northeast path and become a tropical depression Thursday.

Impacts to the Big Bend and South Georgia remain as the storm moves slowly through the Southeast Wednesday. Multiple areas are under a flash flood watch or warning (or both) with some western locations picking up an estimated 5 inches or more of rain in the last 48 hours.

Radar was showing a few rain bands moving through the Big Bend and South Georgia with a few of those prompting tornado warnings with at least two with debris signatures present. There were a few reports of trees down in Thomas, Lowndes and Brooks counties as of the time this story was written.

The tornado watch issued earlier Wednesday has been adjusted and extended until 9 p.m. This means that conditions are favorable for tornadoes. The environment should improve through the night.

Be sure to download the WCTV Pinpoint Weather app to check the radar as well as receive watches and warnings on your mobile device. The Pinpoint Weather Team will continue to monitor conditions throughout the day.

This story was updated to reflect the 5 p.m. advisory as well as changes to tornado watches.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Sally made landfall in Alabama early Wednesday morning as a Category 2 hurricane.

Sally had maximum sustained winds of 105 mph with a minimum central pressure of 965 millibars when it made landfall at 5:45 a.m. ET, according to the National Hurricane Center.

As of the 11 a.m. advisory, it was moving north-northeast at 5 mph with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph and was 15 miles west-northwest of Pensacola, Fla. It’s expected to continue a north-northeast to northeast trek over the next couple of days, becoming a tropical storm and then a depression by Friday.

The impacts of the storm will still linger in parts of the Big Bend and South Georgia. The threat of heavy rain and flooding remain, mainly in the western viewing area where they will likely encounter the rain bands. There are multiple counties in the western Big Bend under flash flood or flood warnings.

In Liberty County, Florida Highway Patrol has closed parts of Highway 20 and Highway 65 because of flooding. Also, water was seeping in one of the classrooms at W.R. Tolar Elementary School according to the Emergency Management Director Rhonda Lewis. Also, Lewis told WCTV that water was coming into businesses on County Road 12 South.

There were reports from Calhoun County Emergency Management of a foot of water in some living rooms in the Pine Island area. Also, Highway 69 was shut down from Pear Street to the Highway 20 intersection in Blountstown.

There is also a threat of tornadoes with at least one location reporting a possible tornado. The Storm Prediction Center issued a tornado watch for the western Big Bend and portions of Southwest Georgia until 7 p.m. A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes, and for those in the watch to be weather aware for any warnings that might be issued.

There was an “unverified public report” of a tornado 3 miles northeast of Alliance, Fla. in southeast Jackson County at around 9:15 a.m. according to the National Weather Service. There were reports of trees and powerlines down near Alliance. There were also reports of trees down and a roof blown off a shed along Highway 69A in Macedonia in northern Liberty County.

With landfalling tropical cyclones, there is a risk for tornadoes on the right (eastern) side of the storm. With high amounts of low-level wind shear on the right side along with a few rain bands that may have strong thunderstorms, this leaves the door open for a few to quickly spin up tornadoes.

Be sure to download the WCTV Pinpoint Weather app to check the radar as well as receive watches and warnings on your mobile device. The Pinpoint Weather Team will continue to monitor conditions throughout the day.

This story was updated to reflect information from the 11 a.m. ET advisory along with damage and flooding reports.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- As Sally moves slowly over the Gulf of Mexico, it expects to bring heavy rain again on Tuesday along with a tornado threat to the western Big Bend.

Hurricane Sally was located 60 miles east of the mouth of the Mississippi River according to the 2 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center. It was inching northwest at 2 mph as maximum sustained winds have decreased slightly to 80 mph. The minimum central pressure was at 982 millibars. The hurricane is expected to make landfall in either Mississippi, Louisiana or Northwest Florida Wednesday morning, bringing storm surge as high as 9 feet to some locations along with heavy rain and severe flooding.

In the Big Bend and South Georgia, the impacts will be lower but some will remain. The Storm Prediction Center issued a tornado watch for Liberty and Franklin counties and point west until 7 p.m. Tuesday. This means conditions are favorable for tornadoes in the watch area.

There is also a coastal flood advisory for the entire Big Bend coastline until Wednesday evening where flooding of 2 to 3 feet above the highest high tide is possible. Also, a flash flood watch is still in effect for Franklin and Liberty counties until Thursday morning.

Rain bands from Sally are expected in the viewing area Tuesday with rain chances sticking around through the rest of the week.

Sally is moving slowly because of the lack of steering flow, but a trough of low pressure aloft is expected to dip into the South just enough to move the storm northeastward through the Southeast at the end of the work week. It’s forecast to become a tropical storm after landfall sometime Wednesday and become an extratropical low by Friday morning.

The Pinpoint Weather Team will continue to monitor the progress and impacts from Hurricane Sally.

This story was updated to reflect information from the 2 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center.


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The National Hurricane Center upgraded Tropical Storm Sally to hurricane status Monday afternoon. NOAA Hurricane Hunters found that winds have increased to above hurricane force just before 12 p.m. along with a pressure drop, indicating strengthening.

The storm continued to move west-northwest at 7 mph with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph according to the 12:30 p.m. special update from the National Hurricane Center. The minimum central pressure was at 986 millibars - down from 991 an hour and a half before.

The storm continued to appear more impressive on satellite imagery early Monday afternoon as thunderstorm cloud tops became colder (higher in elevation) with the Eglin Air Force Base radar showing a developing eyewall around 100 miles south-southwest of Pensacola.

Despite the intensity increase and better organization, the impacts to the Big Bend and South Georgia haven’t changed much since the last update. Heavy rain will be a concern in our southwestern Big Bend counties as rain bands continue to move through the area. Higher rain chances will still be in the forecast area-wide for the next several days as Sally continues to pump in moisture from the south and east.

On the coast, there is a chance of encountering some coastal flooding (1 to 3 feet at the most) with a high risk of rip currents and higher surf. Conditions along the beach will be dangerous for swimming.

Sally is expected to make landfall in Louisiana and/or Mississippi Tuesday into Tuesday night based on the official forecast from the National Hurricane Center.

The Pinpoint Weather Team will continue to monitor the progress of Sally.


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Tropical Storm Sally’s strength hasn’t changed much since Sunday, but it was in a better environment to allow for some strengthening on Monday.

The maximum sustained winds were at 65 mph as of the Monday 8 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center. It was moving west- northwestward at 8 mph with a minimum central pressure of 994 millibars.

The storm’s convection remained asymmetric Monday morning with the thunderstorm activity and rain on the eastern side of the storm. Some of those rain bands were impacting the Franklin County coast. The National Hurricane Center has maintained the tropical storm watch for the Franklin County coast, meaning that tropical storm conditions are possible. There were three reports Sunday of tropical-storm-force gusts on the Franklin and Wakulla county coasts associated with some of the rain bands that moved through.

We could see more rain band development Monday - specially in the afternoon and evening time frame.

Rainfall totals could add up to 5 inches in the southwestern Big Bend but throttle back to nearly an inch near the I-75 corridor through the next five days. Some locally higher amounts are possible.

Also, there is a high risk of rip currents and high surf along the coast Monday with an isolated chance of a tornado close to the coast with some of the rain bands.

The Pinpoint Weather Team will continue to monitor the progress of Sally.


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- As of 11:00 p.m., Tropical Storm Sally was 140 miles SSW of Panama City Florida with sustained winds of 60 mph. The storm is moving to the northwest at 8 mph. Sunday evening, Sally’s center moved slightly to the north, but the storm is still expected to move west of the Big Bend and South Georgia

Tropical Storm Sally is expected to slow down in the coming days and strengthen into a category one hurricane Monday evening. The current forecast has the storm continuing to move to the northwest, making landfall close to Mississippi and Louisiana. As the storm moves inland, it’s expected to weaken quickly and continue to bring rain across the southeastern United States. There is still some uncertainty with the track, so make sure to continue to monitor the forecast for updates.

The primary impact in the Big Bend continues to be heavy rainfall with the most rainfall in the southwestern Big Bend. A Flash Flood Warning is in effect for Wakulla, Liberty, and Franklin counties until Tuesday evening. The risk for storm surge is low with only around a foot expected and three feet at the most in Franklin county. Chances for tropical-storm-force winds are low.

The WCTV Pinpoint Weather Team will continue to monitor the tropics for developments. As with every hurricane season, having a prep kit is a great way to be safe. Downloading the WCTV Pinpoint Weather App is also a fantastic way to stay updated.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Tropical Storm Sally was still fighting wind shear as it was over the eastern Gulf of Mexico Sunday morning.

Sally was located 135 miles west of St. Petersburg, Fla. according to the 11 a.m. Sunday advisory from the National Hurricane Center. Maximum sustained winds increased to 60 mph with a minimum central pressure of 998 millibars.

Convection remained lopsided Sunday morning as west-northwesterly shear was still present as convection remained on the south and east portions of the tropical storm. The wind shear is keeping the thunderstorm activity to wrap around the center’s north and western sides. The shear is expected to relax later Sunday according to the National Hurricane Center, allowing for Sally to potentially hit hurricane status before making landfall likely in Louisiana or Mississippi sometime Monday night or Tuesday morning.

The impacts to the Big Bend and South Georgia will likely be higher rain chances as the viewing area will be on the eastern half of the storm, pulling in more moisture from the south. Rain bands from Sally will move into parts of the viewing area Sunday. A flash flood watch remained in effect for Liberty, Wakulla and Franklin counties until Tuesday. Rain totals of 5 inches or higher is possible in the Big Bend counties under the watch with higher totals to the west of the viewing area. Rain totals will be lower as one travels northeast into South Georgia. Higher rain chances will linger for much of the work week.

Coastal impacts will be felt - especially in places like Franklin County. A tropical storm watch remained in effect in Franklin County with a potential of tropical storm conditions remaining. There is also a high threat of rip currents and high surf along with coastal flooding of up to 1 to 3 feet possible.

The Pinpoint Weather Team will continue to monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Sally.


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) (11:48 p.m. Saturday) - As of 11:00 PM, Tropical Storm Sally was 70 miles southwest of Port Charlotte, Florida with sustained winds of 40 mph. The storm is moving to the west-northwest at 8 mph.

Sally is forecasted to move to the northwest over the next few days. The current forecast has Sally strengthening into a category one hurricane by Monday evening and making landfall in Mississippi and Louisianna Tuesday evening. As Sally moves inland the system is expected to weaken.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Franklin county. This just means tropical-storm-force winds are possible. Heavy rainfall is the primary hazard in the Big Bend and South Georgia with the southwest coast seeing the most rain with up to six inches possible.

The WCTV Pinpoint Weather Team will continue to monitor the tropics for the next several days.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) (2:26 p.m. Saturday) - Tropical Depression Nineteen has been upgraded to tropical storm status according to the 2 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

Maximum sustained winds reached 40 mph according to the advisory. It was moving west at 7 mph.


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A tropical depression moving over South Florida Saturday morning has the potential to become a hurricane before making landfall in the Gulf coast later next week.

The center of Tropical Depression Nineteen was located 40 miles south-southeast of Naples, Fla. according to the 11 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center. The depression was moving just north of west (280-degree bearing) at 9 mph.

A tropical storm watch remained in effect for Ochlockonee River to Okaloosa/Walton County Line, which includes Franklin County. A tropical storm watch means tropical storm conditions are possible within 48 hours. Those in the watch need to monitor the progress of the system and be ready to take action if it is upgraded to a warning.

The system isn’t looking very organized as it appeared to be battling wind shear. The deep convection remained on the southern half of the depression, but good low-level banding can been seen on satellite imagery Saturday morning. A few rain bands were making it as far north as southern Brevard County in Central Florida.

The depression is expected to emerge in the Gulf of Mexico Saturday and forecast to become a tropical storm Saturday night or Sunday morning as it moves more northwestward. The official forecast has the storm increasing to hurricane strength before making landfall on the central Gulf coast Monday night or Tuesday morning.

With each new forecast, confidence is increasing of the center of the storm avoiding a direct landfall in the Big Bend coastline, but the area could still see impacts from the storm. Heavy rain is still in the forecast with the greatest amount of rainfall closer to the coastline. Rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches for the next 72 hours are possible with locally higher amounts in the southwestern Big Bend. Also, a greater threat of higher surf and rip currents will be in place along the coast along with a potential for gusty winds - especially with the outer rain bands from the storm.

The Pinpoint Weather Team will continue to monitor the progress of the storm.


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A tropical depression spinning near the Bahamas is forecast to strengthen into a tropical storm as it moves across southern Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico.

As of 5:00 PM, Tropical Depression Nineteen was 80 miles ESE of Miami with sustained wind speeds of 35 mph. Nineteen is moving to the WNW at 8 mph. Storms developing in the center of the storm prompted the National Hurricane Center to upgrade the tropical disturbance to a tropical depression.

Tropical storm watches are in effect for southeastern Florida, just in case Nineteen strengthens into a Tropical Storm this evening.

The National Hurricane Center’s forecast track for Tropical Depression 19 takes the system across south Florida and into the gulf, moving west-northwest. It is forecast to become a tropical storm in the next day and a half over the Gulf of Mexico. Wind shear is light, which will help the storm stay organized as it moves into the Gulf. Warm sea surface temperatures of at least 86ºF will provide the energy needed for the system to strengthen.

“This will bring an increase in easterly winds to northeast Florida this weekend along with the threat of very heavy rainfall, and enhanced surf conditions with life-threatening rip currents at northeast FL and southeast GA beaches,” the National Weather Service in Jacksonville wrote on the storm.

The heaviest rainfall is anticipated to spread north into Marion county on Saturday and then northwest across the Suwannee Valley on Sunday. Areas of flooding may develop as tropical downpours will occur, according to the weather service.

The system is then forecast to strengthen to near hurricane intensity by early next week as it moves across the northeastern Gulf. Dangerous impacts are possible along the coast from the Florida panhandle to southeastern Louisiana, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The main hazard for this storm is heavy rainfall across the Big Bend and into South Georgia. However, now is a great time to check your hurricane preparedness kits and download the WCTV Pinpoint Weather App.

Copyright 2020 WCTV. All rights reserved.

Latest News

Latest News