Tropical Storm Vicky forms; Sally’s remnants to bring rain to Lowcountry


Photo: Live 5 News

Photo: Live 5 News

By Patrick Phillips | September 14, 2020 at 6:37 AM EDT - Updated September 14 at 12:41 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Sally strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane as it edges toward the Gulf coast where it will likely make landfall Tuesday.

The National Hurricane Center says Sally is likely to produce a life-threatening storm surge, hurricane-force winds and flash flooding along portions of the northern Gulf coast starting late Monday.

But the eventual remnants of Sally will increase rain chances in the Lowcountry increase to 70 percent as remnants of Sally are expected to move to the east toward the Carolinas.

Live 5 Meteorologist Joey Sovine said the speed at which those remnants move over land will determine whether the biggest rain threat will happen on Thursday, Friday or into Saturday morning, but some areas could see as much as two to three inches of rain.

Data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicates the center of Sally has reformed to the east of the previous estimated location. At 11 a.m., Sally’s center was located near latitude 28.4 North, longitude 86.9 West and was moving toward the west-northwest near 6 mph.

This general motion is expected to continue Monday, followed by a decrease in forward speed and a turn toward the northwest Monday night and a northward turn sometime on Tuesday.

On the forecast track, the center of Sally will move over the north-central Gulf of Mexico Monday, approach southeastern Louisiana Monday night, 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.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km) from the center. The latest minimum central pressure estimated from reconnaissance aircraft data is 29.27 inches.

Tropical Storm Vicky forms

The National Weather Center says Tropical Storm Vicky has formed in the Atlantic, becoming the fifth active named system currently being monitored.

At 11 a.m., the center of Tropical Storm Vicky was located near latitude 18.7 North, longitude 28.5 West. Vicky is moving toward the northwest near 6 mph and this motion is forecast to continue into Monday afternoon. A turn toward the northwest is forecast Monday night, with a west-northwestward motion expected on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 45 mph with higher gusts. Little change in strength is expected during the next day or so.

Weakening is expected to begin by Tuesday night and Vicky is forecast to degenerate to a remnant low on Thursday.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 29.59 inches.

Live 5 Meteorologist Joey Sovine says the last time there were five active named systems at the same time in the Atlantic was in September 1971.

That leaves only the name Wilfred left on the 2020 Atlantic hurricane names list. After that name is used, any future named storms this season will take letters from the Greek alphabet.

The only other time that happened was during the 2005 hurricane season, which had six storms named with Greek letters.

Sally could produce heavy rain over Lowcountry later this week

Tropical Storm Teddy formed early Monday morning

Tropical Storm Teddy has officially formed in the Atlantic as of Monday morning, becoming the fourth named system currently being tracked.

At 5 a.m., the center of Tropical Storm Teddy was located near latitude 13.4 North, longitude 40.4 West. Teddy is moving toward the west-northwest near 14 mph. A continued west-northwestward motion is expected for the next day or two followed by a turn toward the northwest by mid-week.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 40 mph with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is anticipated, and Teddy is forecast to become a hurricane in a couple of days.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 29.65 inches.

Paulette, Rene, other systems still being watched

Forecasters are keeping their eye on two other named systems along with three others that have varying degrees of development potential.

Hurricane Paulette was near Bermuda Monday morning where a hurricane warning is in effect. But Paulette is expected to make a turn to the north after its eye passes over Bermuda.

But despite its distance from the U.S. coastline, Paulette was contributing to a higher risk of rip currents off the Lowcountry coast. On Sunday, three people, including two children, were rescued after they were caught in rip currents off Folly Beach. EMS took a woman and a 6-year-old child to the hospital after the incident.

Rene was downgraded to a tropical depression over the weekend and is expected to dissipate into a remnant low by Wednesday.

Forecasters are watching two other systems with a lower chance of development so far.

The first is a weak area of low pressure over the west-central Gulf of Mexico producing limited shower activity. Forecasters say the chance this system would develop into a tropical depression or tropical storm is not likely because of strong upper-level winds. The National Hurricane Center gives it only a 10 percent chance of developing over the next five days.

The second, however, is a tropical wave near the west coast of Africa producing disorganized shower and thunderstorm activity. Environmental conditions may help the wave slowly develop this week as it moves westward at about 10 mph over the far eastern tropical Atlantic. Forecasters say there is a 40 percent chance for development over the next five days.

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