Tropical Storm Sally strengthens, expected to be hurricane Monday

WSAV Hurricane Central

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — We are officially in the peak of hurricane season. The National Hurricane Center is monitoring 1 hurricane, 1 tropical storm, 2 tropical depressions, and 3 tropical waves.

Tropical Storm Sally

Tropical Storm Sally formed Saturday afternoon in South Florida. As of 11 am Sunday, it was centered 135 miles west of St. Peteresburg, Florida.

Tropical Storm Sally has maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, moving west-northwest at 12 mph. Sally is likely to gain strength over over the Gulf of Mexico, and making landfall along the central Gulf Coast as a category 2 hurricane early Tuesday.

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 6-12″ with locally higher amounts closer to 20″. 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.

Tropical Storm Paulette

Paulette became a category 1 hurricane late Saturday night. As of 11 am Sunday, Paulette has mas stained winds of 80 mph. It is located 240 miles southeast of Bermuda and moving northwest at 14 mph.

Paulette will move in a northwest direction towards Bermuda through Monday. The storm will then begin to track northeastward by Tuesday. Paulette could strengthen to a category 2 hurricane before hitting Bermuda Monday.

There is no threat to the U.S. at this time from Paulette.

Tropical Depression Rene

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.

Tropical Depression Twenty

Tropical Depression Twenty formed Saturday evening in the far East Atlantic. It is centered 1,680 miles east of the Lesser Antilles, moving west-northwest at 10 mph. It is expected to become a tropical storm as early as tonight.

If Twenty becomes the next named Tropical Storm, it will receive the name Teddy and would be the earliest “T” storm on record. Fortunately, even as the depression is expected to strengthen into a hurricane in the coming days, it will remain over the ocean.

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