Hurricane Sally could bring life-threatening flooding to the Gulf Coast

Tuesday evening weather forecast: 6pm

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The latest NHC update has the winds of Sally at 80mph. It isn’t expected to change much in strength before making landfall tomorrow morning.

The biggest problem is that the storm is crawling toward the Alabama coast at 2mph. Most of us could walk faster than this storm.

The slow movement is causing many problems since it is just sitting over the same places. Parts of the Florida Panhandle and Alabama have already been getting rain for 24 hours and the storm is still 12 hours from landfall.

For us, it will mean a wet Thursday and Friday. That is why a First Alert has been issued for both days.

Unfortunately, the models aren’t agreeing on the timing of the system.

The American models are bringing in the bulk of the rain on Thursday, with it moving out on Friday. The European model has the rain starting later on Thursday and a very wet Friday.

The thing they agree on is a LOT of rain. 3-5″ aren’t out of the question before the storm moves out for the weekend.

Here are the likely coastal impacts.

10-20″ of rain are possible from the Florida Panhandle to Mississippi. Historic flooding is likely. It won’t just be along the coast. It will also be inland. Many rivers will also be running very high.

4-6′ of storm surge plus waves on top of that. It is moving so slowly, that it will stick around for both high and low tide.

Tropical storm conditions are already occurring, and hurricane force winds will pick up tonight.

The storm will move inland on Wednesday, bringing 4-8″ of rain to Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas. Significant flash flooding is possible well away from the coast. Isolated tornadoes are possible for the Florida Panhandle to southern Alabama.

Stay tuned to WBTV for the latest information.

Meteorologist Leigh Brock

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