Hurricane Sally is expected to make landfall sometime late tonight or early in the morning near Mobile, Alabama. The storm is crawling at 2 mph and has done this much of the day.
The storm is a cat 1 hurricane but the flooding will be horrific. Some locations will likely see more than three feet of rain. The current forecast calls for amounts of up to 30 inches but under-forecasting rainfall in these systems is an unfortunate problem in scenarios like this. Houston can tell you all about that after they had Harvey.
Slow-moving systems, even tropical storms, can bring an entire region to its knees. With tropical systems, it’s always the water. I always worry we’re getting people killed by rating these storms on wind. People hear that “it’s just a tropical storm” or “it’s just a cat 1 hurricane” and they automatically think they shouldn’t take it as seriously. BUT, it’s always the water that kills the most people and does the most damage. We need a flood scale a LOT worse than we ever needed a wind scale. Plus, the winds die down significantly after landfall.
Consider this, water broke the levees in New Orleans during Katrina, not the wind. A tropical storm could have done the same thing. In fact, they don’t evacuate that city unless a serious hurricane is coming, even though a tropical storm could flood that city worse than some major hurricanes. It’s a mess. Thankfully, Sally missed New Orleans, sparing them an absolutely devastating flood that would have likely, in my opinion, rivaled Katrina.
Keep the folks in the path of this storm close to your hearts. The flooding is going to be historic and catastrophic for many areas.
Sally looks threatening on satellite this evening. That’s a lot of water to move inland tonight and tomorrow.
The northern edge of the storm is already reaching into TN and the Cumberland Plateau.
You all have a good evening and be sure and be thankful for the weather we have. There are a lot of people who would like to trade places with us tonight.