SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — We are officially in the peak of hurricane season. There are currently five named storms between the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. As of now, none of these systems will impact the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry.
Sally has rapidly strengthened into a hurricane Monday afternoon. As of 2 pm Monday, it was centered 125 miles east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River.
Hurricane Sally has maximum sustained wind of 90 mph, moving west-northwest at 7 mph. Sally is likely to gain strength over over the Gulf of Mexico. Landfall as a category 2 hurricane early Tuesday is expected along the eastern Louisiana coast.
Sally is expected to crawl along the Gulf Coast as it moves inland Tuesday. This will lead to higher rain totals, storm surge, and tropical storm to hurricane force winds from Monday through Wednesday. Rain totals will be between 8-16″ with locally higher amounts closer to 24″. Storm surge will be the highest near the mouth of the Mississippi River.
A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for Florida’s Gulf Coast and a Hurricane Warning has been issued for parts of Louisiana and Mississippi. Sally is now the earliest “S” storm on record, beating Stan which formed on October 2, 2005.
While Hurricane Paulette is now moving away from Bermuda, the hurricane is strengthening. The category 2 hurricane is packing winds of 105 mph and moving north-northeast at 13 mph.
Paulette may even strengthen further as it begins to race northeastward through the North Atlantic.
Tropical Storm Teddy formed early Monday morning from what was Tropical Depression 20. As of 11 am, it was centered 1,250 miles east of the Lesser Antilles, moving west at 14 mph. Its maximum sustained winds were 40 mph.
Teddy is likely to strengthen the next few days and could even become a major category 3 hurricane by Friday. The storm will remain over the ocean through the weekend.
Tropical Storm Vicky formed late Monday morning from what was tropical depression 21. Vicky has max sustained winds of 45 mph and is moving to the northwest at 6 mph.
This is expected to be a short-lived tropical system as wind shear increases through this week.
Tropical Depression Rene is barely holding on. Dry air and wind sheer will prevent Rene from being able to restrengthen into a tropical storm or hurricane.