Hurricane Sally makes landfall; more on radar

Michelle Marchante and Alex Harris Miami Herald (TNS)
Rescue crews help save Ernestine Law when a tree fell on her house on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020 in Mobile, Alabama. Ernestine and her daughter and grandbaby were in the house at the time. The daughter and grandbaby were able to get out, but Ernestine was trapped inside. Hurricane Sally made landfall in Alabama early Wednesday.

MIAMI - A strengthened Hurricane Sally made landfall in Alabama early Wednesday, battering the area with heavy rain and winds over 100 mph. Trouble may also be coming for Bermuda, which is forecast to be in the path of a powerful Hurricane Teddy early next week.

Hurricanes Sally and Teddy aren't the only systems on the National Hurricane Center's radar. A strengthening Hurricane Paulette is still roaming around the Atlantic. So is Tropical Storm Vicky. Forecasters are also monitoring three disturbances, two of which are forecast to turn into tropical depressions later this week.

Here's what to know:


One of the disturbances, described as an area of low pressure, was producing showers and thunderstorms about a few hundred miles south of the Cabo Verde Islands, according to the hurricane center.

It was moving west-northwestward at 10 to 15 mph and was forecast to turn into a tropical depression in the next few days, according to the hurricane center. It had a 40 percent chance of development in the next two days and 60 percent in the next five days, as of the 8 p.m. update.

The other two disturbances are on opposite sides of the Atlantic. One was producing showers and thunderstorms over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico and was beginning to show signs of organization, according to Wednesday's advisory.

"Upper-level winds are forecast to gradually become more conducive for development, and a tropical depression is likely to form late this week or over the weekend while the low meanders over the southern Gulf of Mexico," forecasters wrote. It had a 50 to 70 percent chance of formation in the next two to five days.

The other disturbance, described as a non-tropical area of low pressure, is over the far northeastern Atlantic Ocean and was a few hundred miles northeast of the Azores, according to the hurricane center. It had about a 10 percent chance of forming anytime this week.

"This system is forecast to move east-southeastward and then northeastward at about 10 mph over the next day or two, and its chances of acquiring some subtropical characteristics before it reaches the coast of Portugal late Friday appear to be decreasing," forecasters wrote.


Sally made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane near Gulf Shores, Alabama, just before 6 a.m. EDT Wednesday, with maximum sustained winds near 105 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. The slow-moving storm brought heavy rain, dangerous storm surge and historic and dangerous flooding from the Florida Panhandle to Mississippi.


Bermuda, which is still recovering from being struck by Hurricane Paulette a few days ago, might have another storm coming its way.

Hurricane Teddy, a Category 2 storm, was quickly intensifying and was expected to strengthen into a Category 3 hurricane as it continues moving toward the northwest near 13 mph in the Atlantic Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center's 5 p.m. advisory.

Forecasters said the storm is no longer expected to strengthen into a Category 4 this week, in part due to the cool waters left in Hurricane Paulette's wake. On the forecast track, it's expected to be a strong Category 2 storm, near Category 3 level strength, by the time it nears the island Monday.

"The biggest change to note that guidance has almost unanimously shifted westward at long range, seemingly due to a stronger central Atlantic ridge, and the NHC forecast is also moved in that direction. Unfortunately, this change does increase the threat to Bermuda, which was just hit by Hurricane Paulette but remember the average track error at 5 days is roughly 200 miles," forecasters wrote.

As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, Teddy's maximum sustained winds were near 100 mph with higher gusts. Its hurricane-force winds were extending up to 25 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds were extending up to 175 miles.

There are no coastal warnings or watches in effect.

Forecasters cautioned that large swells generated by Teddy are expected to reach the Lesser Antilles and the northeastern coast of South America Wednesday and should spread to the Greater Antilles, the Bahamas and Bermuda by Friday. These swells will likely cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions, according to the hurricane center.


Hurricane Paulette became an extratropical cyclone Wednesday morning as it continued toward the east-northeast near 29 mph in the open waters of the Atlantic, according to the hurricane center. Paulette was then forecast to slow down and turn toward the south-southeast late Thursday and Friday. It will then eventually weaken back into a tropical storm. The 11 a.m. update was the last forecast the hurricane center will issue for Paulette.

Paulette's swells will likely continue causing life-threatening surf and rip current conditions to Canada, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and portions of the East Coast of the United States through Wednesday night, forecasters said.

Tropical Storm Vicky was expected to weaken in the next couple of days as it continues moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph. It's forecast to become a remnant low on Thursday or Friday.