UPDATE: Sally now a category 2 hurricane; track shifts east again

UPDATE: Sally now a category 2 hurricane; track shifts east again
Data from reconnaissance aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 100 mph with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast. (Source: WVUE FOX 8)

Data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate Sally is now a Category 2 hurricane.

Residents in southeast Louisiana and south Mississippi are encouraged to finalize preparations before this afternoon.

Sally is moving west-northwest. This general motion is expected to continue today followed by a decrease in forward speed and a turn toward the north into tomorrow.

We’re not out of the woods just yet. In fact, eastern parts of the FOX 8 viewing area will still see significant impacts from Sally, and any wobble westward could mean more of the area ends up seeing impacts.

With much of the heavy rain on the eastern side, the track’s nudge east is a welcome sight for Southeast Louisiana. Sally is expected to continue slowing down as it makes its turn north- meaning heavy rain may dump on those near the center and east of the storm for a couple of days. Rainfall totals to the tune of 1-2 feet are not out of the question in those areas.

Storm surge is highly dependent on Sally’s track. A track east of the river means the worst surge will be along the east-facing coasts, the MS Coast, and in Lake Borgne.

On the forecast track, the center of Sally will move over the north-central Gulf of Mexico today, approach southeastern Louisiana tonight, and make landfall in the hurricane warning area on Tuesday or Tuesday night.

Afterward, Sally is expected to move slowly north-northeastward near the northern Gulf Coast through Wednesday.

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