Sally weakens to tropical depression, bringing ‘catastrophic’ flooding to Gulf Coast after landfall

Hurricane Center

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA/WSPA/AP) — Sally, now weakened to a tropical depression, made landfall between the border of Alabama and Florida Wednesday morning as a Category 2 hurricane bringing hurricane-force winds and catastrophic flooding to parts of the Gulf Coast.

Sally is one of several systems in an active Atlantic basin. Forecasters are also watching Hurricane Teddy, Tropical Storm Vicky and three areas of interest.

Here are the latest updates on the systems being tracked:

Tropical Depression Sally

Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama around 5:45 a.m. ET Wednesday as a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained wind speeds of 105 mph, the National Hurricane Center says.

Sally has weakened to a tropical depression with 35 mph maximum sustained winds as of 11 p.m.

Sally picked up just a bit of speed Wednesday and is now moving at 7 mph, according to the latest advisory. The NHC says it’s expected to continue moving slightly faster through Thursday.

The latest NHC forecast says Sally will move across the southeastern Alabama into central Georgia by Thursday before moving into South Carolina by late Thursday or early Friday morning.

7 Weather Meteorologist Malachi Rodgers said the Upstate will see steady rain Thursday with temperatures near 70 degrees. The Upstate and western North Carolina are expected to see 2″ to 4″ of rainfall.

The highest rain totals will be south of the Upstate, closer to Columbia. The rain will come out this evening.

The NHC says storm totals for rainfall will be between 10 and 20 inches with isolated amounts of 35 inches along the Gulf Coast.

Parts of southern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle are still bracing for potentially serious flooding from bulging rivers.

Hurricane Teddy

Hurricane Teddy reached Category 2 strength on Wednesday morning before weakening to a category 1 storm by late Wednesday.

As of 11 p.m. ET, Teddy has maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour. It’s about 670 miles east of the Lesser Antilles and moving northwest at about 13 mph.

The latest forecast discussion from the NHC says Teddy could make a close approach to Bermuda in about five days, but forecasters say it’s still too soon to know what type of impacts it could have on the island.

Teddy became the earliest “T” named storm on record when it formed Monday.

Tropical Storm Vicky

At 11 p.m. ET Wednesday, Tropical Storm Vicky had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, and was about 860 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands. It was moving west at about 10 mph.

Vicky is expected to dissipate in the next couple of days.

Vicky is the twentieth named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. There is now only one name left on this year’s list of hurricane names: Wilfred.

Once this year’s list of names runs out, storms will start being named after the letters in the Greek alphabet. The last year we reached the Greek alphabet was in 2005.

Other areas to watch

Forecasters are also watching three areas of low pressure in the Gulf and the Atlantic.

The disturbance in the Gulf is producing showers and thunderstorms that are continuing to become more organized, and has a medium 50% chance of development in the next two days, and a high 70% chance of development over the next five days.

Forecasters are also monitoring a non-tropical area of low pressure over the far northeastern Atlantic, a few hundred miles northeast of Azores. The system is expected to head south-southeastward over the next few days and could acquire some subtropical characteristics, according to the NHC. The storm has a low 20% chance of development in the next five days.

The NHC is also monitoring shower and thunderstorm activity associated with an area of low pressure over the far eastern tropical Atlantic, a few hundred miles south-southeast of the Cabo Verde Islands. The system is likely to become a tropical depression in the next few days. It has a medium 50% chance of development in the next 48 hours, and a high 70% chance of development over the next five days.

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