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Tropical Storm Sally

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.