CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Tropical Storm Sally is likely to strengthen to a hurricane today as it drifts toward the northern Gulf coast.
Sally is forecast to make landfall along the LA/MS coast early Tuesday and then slowly drift across the Deep South during the midweek period.
Hurricane-force winds are expected to impact the strike zone starting later today, and a storm surge as high as 11 feet is forecast for parts of the LA coast.
With Sally being a slow-mover, the rainfall forecast of up to 24 inches is concerning, especially in low-lying areas along and just inland from the coast.
In time, Sally will weaken as it moves northeast and eventually the remnants will make a pass at the WBTV viewing area late in the week.
There are long-range model differences in both the timing of the rain and the track of the remnant low.
As such, exact details cannot be determined at this point, but suffice to say, there is a threat for rain – heavy at times – Thursday and Friday – and especially from late Thursday through early Friday.
An early call for our area would be two to four inches of rain with locally higher amounts possible, and so flash flooding appears to be a real threat late in the week. Again, exact forecast details though will take more time to iron out.
See the attached graphics and note the differences in the timing of the rain and placement of the decaying storm.
That’s why we’ve declared a First Alert. It’s sort of our way of providing our viewers with a “heads up”, heavy rain is on the way. Depending on the exact track, a severe weather threat could develop in the Carolinas as well.
Whatever comes our way will be moving out by late Friday and the weather for the weekend looks fantastic, so hold on!
Cool overnight temperatures in the 50s and afternoon readings in the warm 70s with plenty of sunshine to go around and lo humidity. Our first real taste of Autumn weather!
Meteorologist Al Conklin