Tropical Storm Sally continues to strengthen as it moves northwest over the Gulf of Mexico. As of 7pm Sunday, its maximum sustained wind speeds were 60 mph, which makes Sally a strong tropical storm. Additional strengthening is forecast to occur through Monday, when it will likely be a Category 1 hurricane before making landfall near New Orleans late Monday into Tuesday morning.

Very heavy rainfall is expected for the Gulf Coast, including New Orleans, which could 6-10 inches of rain. Mobile could also receive as much as 20 inches of rain, sparking major flooding concerns for anyone still located along the coastline.

Sally’s impact to north Alabama

We’re likely to see some rain and impacts from Sally later this week as it turns northeast after landfall and moves into Alabama. The question that we still don’t know the answer to is where exactly and when that turn northeast actually happens.

Depending on when that turn occurs, we could see a whole lot of rain and perhaps some stronger storms. As of this writing, rainfall will be heaviest along Sand Mountain, where as much as 6 to 8 inches of rainfall is possible through Thursday evening. This much rain in a short amount of time will produce potentially threatening flash flooding.

Wind gusts may also reach as high as the 30-40 mph through Thursday evening, with local wind gusts near 50 mph along Lookout and Sand Mountains.

In addition, a potential for severe weather (including tornadoes) exists, especially if Sally’s center of circulation continues to move through the heart of north Alabama.

We will continue to update you regarding the heavy rain and wind threat, but be aware that if you live in an area prone to flash flooding and/or tree damage, you may want to prepare for Sally’s arrival this week.

Track Sally using our interactive map below. In addition, the News 19 Forecast Discussion page is available by clicking this link.