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Slow-Moving Sally Drops Feet of Rain as Flood Threat Spreads Inland

After making landfall early Wednesday morning, Sally continues to bring big impacts to parts of the Southeast.


What You Need To Know

  • Sally made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday
  • Dangerous flooding continues throughout the Southeast
  • Flash flood watches are in effect for over 10 million people
  • Teddy, and Vicky are all in open Atlantic water

Sally intensified a second time as it approached the Gulf Coast late Tuesday into early Wednesday and made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane near Gulf Shores, Alabama.

While the storm has since been downgraded to a tropical depression, heavy rain continues to inundate parts of the Southeast. The slow-moving Sally has already dropped over two feet of rain along parts of the Gulf Coast.

Sally claimed the life of at least one person in Alabama on Wednesday with another reported missing.

Flash flood watches have been posted from the Florida panhandle all the way to Virginia. Localized rainfall of one to two feet will cause major flash flooding and longer-lasting river flooding.

Sally is the earliest named S-storm to form in the Atlantic in recorded history.

Teddy Becomes a Hurricane

Teddy became the eighth hurricane of the season early Wednesday. Teddy began as a tropical depression in the Central Atlantic Ocean on Saturday, joining the busy midseason parade of storms.

It became a tropical storm early Monday, the first “T” storm to form in September.

Teddy is expected to strengthen into a major hurricane as it travels in open waters over the next several days.

The storm may affect Bermuda early next week. It could lead to punishing surf for parts of the East Coast this weekend and into next week.

Tropical Storm Vicky Fades Soon

Tropical Storm Vicky developed midday Monday after it started as Tropical Depression Twenty-One west of the Cabo Verde Islands earlier in the day. It’s forecast to remain weak and dissipate within a few days as it moves west into unfavorable wind and cooler waters.

This is the first time a “V” storm has formed in September.

The Rest of the Atlantic

A tropical wave off the west coast of Africa has a medium chance of developing into a tropical cyclone later this week. Another wave in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico also has a high chance of developing later this week.

Two other disturbances have a low chance of developing. One in the north Atlantic north of the Azores has a low chance of developing.

Peak of the Hurricane Season

The average peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is around September 10. This time of year, tropical systems can develop just about anywhere with tracks across much of the basin. September also has a history of memorable hurricanes.

At one time on Monday, five tropical cyclones were occurring in the Atlantic at one time. This is rare, according to to Phillip Klotzbach, a meteorologist and researcher at Colorado State University.

This year continues to outpace the record-setting 2005 season.

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