Sally Strengthens to a Category 2 Hurricane Ahead of Landfall

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Sally strengthened overnight and is a Category 2 hurricane again. We could see some additional slight strengthening heading into the day before landfall, but it is expected that Sally will make landfall today as a Category 2 storm near the AL/FL border. For the Chattahoochee Valley - we will start to see Sally’s outer rain bands pushing into the area today. We have already seen some gusty winds this morning on the outside of Hurricane Sally, and these breezy conditions could last through Thursday night into Friday morning. The main impacts we can expect from Sally include flooding, gusty winds, and a risk for isolated, brief spin-up tornadoes within the rain bands of Sally. We have assigned an Alert Center Action Day for overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning/afternoon as we deal with Sally and its impacts. What that means: you should be paying attention to the weather and remaining aware of any watches/warning you may be under. Make sure to have multiple ways to receive weather watches/warnings - some great ones include a NOAA Weather Radio and the WTVM Weather App.

Breaking down the impacts:

Flooding - We could see some flash flooding across the Chattahoochee Valley as Sally dumps heavy tropical rains across the area today into tomorrow. These rains will last for a couple of days because Sally is so large and is not moving very fast. The outer most bands of Sally have already started moving into the area this morning.

Wind - We are already seeing some breezy conditions this morning on the fringe of Hurricane Sally. The strongest winds from Sally will move in overnight Wednesday through Thursday. The most intense wind conditions will be just around the center of Sally as it pushes through the Chattahoochee Valley early Thursday into Thursday afternoon. We could be seeing sustained winds around 30-35 mph and gusts between 35-45 mph. With these types of gusts, we could be seeing some power outages, especially in areas where the center passes nearby.

Isolated Brief Tornado - Within the rain bands of Sally, we could see more potent areas of thunderstorms. Within these more robust embedded thunderstorms there is a risk for some brief spin-up tornadoes. Well, what does that mean? That means that we could see some small (typically weak) tornadoes within some of Sally’s rain bands. These will be the bands closer to the center of Sally - typically not the outer-most bands like we are seeing this morning since they are a bit weaker. These tornadoes will be hard to warn because they tend to spin up and fizzle out quickly. Nevertheless, make sure to have multiple ways to receive watches and warnings in case your area sees some type of severe weather.

Storm Team 9 is working around the clock tracking Sally and will continue to keep you updated on the latest timing and impacts. Stay with us on air, online, and within the WTVM Weather App for continuous updates.

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