Update, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m.:
By Kaitie Meyer
Expect hefty rain to northwest Florida over the next few days as Tropical Storm Sally continues to brew in the Gulf. A flash flood watch is in effect until Thursday morning. Heavy rain will be off and on over the next several days, so be prepared.
Tropical Storm Sally is currently at 60 mph moving west-northwest towards the Mississippi/Louisiana area at 9 mph.
Sally is expected to slow down and gain strength over the next day. Our area is located on the east side of this lop-sided storm, which means we will experience more rain. The longer it takes the low-pressure system to move through our region, the more rain we will experience.
Sally is forecasted to upgrade to a hurricane before making landfall late Monday, early Tuesday.
“Regardless of Sally’s exact landfall location and intensity, the cyclone is expected to bring wind, storm surge, and rainfall hazards to a large part of the north-central Gulf Coast. In particular, Sally’s slow forward speed near the coast will exacerbate the storm surge and heavy rainfall threats,” according to the National Hurricane Center forecast discussion.
Update, Sept. 13 at 9 a.m.: Tropical Depression 19 revved up to Tropical Storm Sally in the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend, and the storm is set to make landfall on the northern coast as a hurricane.
Forecasts from the National Weather Service in Mobile show Sally strengthening to a hurricane by Monday night and making her way toward eastern Louisiana or Mississippi coasts by Tuesday morning.
Northwest Floridians should expect tropical storm like conditions including heavy rains and high surf. A tropical storm warning and high surf warning have been issued for the Navarre and Gulf Breeze areas.
Original, Sept. 11:
By Wendy Victora Rudman
The sky isn’t falling yet, but it might be early next week.
National Weather Service meteorologist Jason Beaman said residents of the northern Florida coast will likely be affected, as early as Monday, by a tropical depression near the Bahamas.
“That’s the system we’re going to have to keep a close eye on,” he said, distinguishing Tropical Depression 19 from the handful of other systems brewing in the Atlantic. “We could get rain impacts as early as Monday and continuing into Tuesday.”
He said heavy rain and high surf are likely, no matter exactly where the storm goes or how fully it forms.
“There’s a potential for this to strengthen,” Beaman said. ““If this thing does develop quickly, we won’t have a lot of time.”
Beaman stressed that, at this point, the storm isn’t something to get “overly worried about.”
But don’t get complacent.
“A quickly strengthening system near land at this time of year is something we have to look out for,” Beaman said. “The atmosphere conditions are going to be favorable for strengthening. It’s going to have some time.”