HURRICANE SALLY UPDATE: 11AM UPDATE
WASHINGTON AND HOLMES COUNTY- Hurricane Sally has approached the northern Gulf Coast this morning and made landfall. Sally is forcasted to move inland across southeastern Alabama tonight.
The greatest threat from Sally continues to be flash flooding. In fact, there is the potential for catastrophic flooding across portions of the Western Florida Panhandle into extreme Southeast Alabama, where 4 to 8 inches of rain has already occurred, with localized higher amounts. Additional rainfall of 5 to 10 inches is expected, and when all is said and done by Thursday Night, isolated storm total amounts around 20 inches are certainly possible.
Rainfall amounts will decrease east into Southwest Georgia and the Florida Big Bend. A Storm Surge Warning remains in effect for portions of Walton County, particularly closer to the coast, where there is a danger of life threatening inundation above normally dry ground. For the remainder of the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend coasts, minor storm surge flooding with 1 to 3 feet of inundation above normally dry ground is expected. As far as the wind threat is concerned, tropical storm force winds in sustained and/or frequent gusts are increasingly likely inland from the coast today, from portions of the Florida Panhandle into Southeast Alabama, mainly to the west of the Chatahoochee and Apalachicola Rivers.
The Tropical Storm Warning has been extended east this morning to cover this entire area. A few tornadoes are certainly possible as rain bands move ashore through mid-week. In fact, a tornado watch is currently in effect for portions of the Florida Panhandle, where multiple tornado warnings have been issued overnight. Last but not least, high surf will continue to create very dangerous conditions at area beaches, with life-threatening rip currents through mid-week.