Hurricane and tropical storm warnings were in effect for portions of the U.S. Gulf Coast as AccuWeather meteorologists on Sunday continued monitoring the latest threat to the U.S.: Tropical Storm Sally, which had taken shape a day earlier.
Sally was gathering strength as it moved over the Gulf of Mexico, where water temperatures range from the low- to mid-80s F, and the storm is forecast to reach hurricane strength before making landfall along the Gulf Coast.
By 1:00 pm CDT on Sunday, the storm was centered 140 miles south-southwest of Apalachicola, Florida, and about 240 miles east-southeast of Mississippi River’s mouth. It was moving west-northwestward at 12 mph, and maximum sustained winds had remained at 60 mph. Sally, formerly Tropical Depression 19, ramped up quickly and strengthened to a tropical storm at 1:00 pm EDT on Saturday.
Forecasters expect Sally to continue rapidly strengthening into Monday and say the storm could reach Category 2 force, which would mean wind speeds of 96-110 mph before making landfall. AccuWeather meteorologists have rated the storm a two on the AccuWeather RealImpact Scale for Hurricanes.