The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) in its latest advisory at 08:00 (local time) on Sunday, September 13, reports that Tropical Storm Sally has strengthened as it continues to trek through the Gulf of Mexico. In the advisory, the NHC has recorded Sally approximately 115 mi (190 km) west of Port Charlotte (Florida) with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph), moving west-northwest at 13 mph (20 kph). It is forecast to strengthen as it passes through the Gulf of Mexico and expected to become a hurricane before nearing the US coastline late on Monday or early Tuesday. Further strengthening is possible over the course of Tuesday.
The following warnings and watches are in effect:
- A hurricane warning is in effect between Grand Isle (Louisiana) and Ocean Springs (Mississippi) and for Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas, including metropolitan New Orleans (Louisiana)
- A hurricane watch is in effect east of Ocean Springs to the Alabama/Florida border
- A storm surge warning is in effect from Port Fourchon (Louisiana) to the Mississippi/Alabama border, as well as for Lakes Pontchartrain, Maurepas, and Borgne
- A storm surge watch is in effect between the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Alabama/Florida border
- A tropical storm warning is in effect east of Ocean Springs to Indian Pass (Florida)
- A tropical storm watch is in effect between Indian Pass and the Ochlockonee River (Florida)
Wind damage, coastal flooding, and dangerous sea conditions are expected during the passing of the storm, and significant disruptions to transportation, business, and utilities are likely in the coming days.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from late May through to the end of November, with activity typically peaking in late August and early September. Numerous tropical storms form in the Atlantic Ocean during this period, with most affecting the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the east coast of the United States. Although communities in the region are generally well prepared for adverse weather conditions during the hurricane season, severe storms bring a significant risk of flooding and infrastructural damage.
Organized tropical activity tends to peak in August and September. Storms tend to flood sections of highways and cause dirt-based roads to become temporarily impassable. More organized systems, depending on intensity, can prove catastrophic in terms of tidal surge, wind damage, flooding, and mudslides.
Those in Bermuda are advised to monitor local weather reports, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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