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Hurricane Zeta Hits New Orleans

Hurricane Zeta hit New Orleans, Louisiana and the coast of Mississippi on Wednesday evening. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Hurricane Zeta was located at latitude 31.5°N and longitude 88.7°W which put it about 45 miles (75 km) northeast of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Zeta was moving toward the northeast at 31 m.p.h. (50 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 978 mb.

A Hurricane Warning remained in effect for the portion of the coast from the Mouth of the Pearl River to the Mississippi/Alabama border. A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Walton/Bay County Line in Florida.

Hurricane Zeta made landfall on the coast of Louisiana near Grand Isle late on Wednesday afternoon. The eye of Zeta passed over New Orleans before moving northeast into southern Mississippi. The strongest winds in Hurricane Zeta occurred in the eastern half of the circulation. A NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS) station at Shell Beach Louisiana (SHBL1) reported a sustained wind speed of 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and a wind gust of 101 m.p.h. (163 km/h). A NOAA NOS station at the Bay Waveland Yacht Club, Mississippi (WYCM6) reported a wind speed of 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and a wind gust of 103 m.p.h. (167 km/h). The National Weather Service (NWS) office at the airport in New Orleans (KMSY) reported a Peak Wind of 71 m.p.h. (115 km/h). A station in Biloxi, Mississippi (KBIX) reported a sustained wind speed of 64 m.p.h. (104 km/h) and a wind gust of 87 m.p.h. (141 km/h). A station in Mobile, Alabama (KMOB) reported a sustained wind speed of 48 m.p.h. (78 km/h) and a wind gust of 91 m.p.h. (146 km/h).

There were reports of significant storm surges along the coast of Mississippi. There were also reports of widespread power outages in southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi.

Hurricane Zeta will move rapidly northeastward across Alabama during the night. The center of Zeta will be over northwestern Georgia by Thursday morning. Hurricane Zeta will weaken to a tropical storm during the night, but it will be capable of causing additional power outages. Zeta will also drop locally heavy rain. Flash Flood Watches were in effect for the area from Alabama to western Virginia. Zeta will eventually merge with a cold front and make a transition to an extratropical cyclone. The extratropical cyclone could contribute to snow that will fall over the northeastern U.S.

Zeta Strengthens Back to a Hurricane

Zeta strengthened back to a hurricane on Tuesday night. At 8:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Storm Zeta was located at latitude 26.0°N and longitude 91.7°W which put it about 295 miles (470 km) south-southwest of New Orleans, Louisiana. Zeta was moving toward the north at 17 m.p.h. (28 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 110 m.p.h. (175 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 978 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Mississippi/Alabama border. The Hurricane Warning included New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Walton/Bay County line in Florida. A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Intracoastal City to Morgan City, Louisiana.

After weakening to a tropical storm when it passed over the Yucatan Peninsula on Tuesday morning, Zeta intensified back to a hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday night. A circular eye with a diameter of 30 miles (50 km) developed at the center of the eye. The ring of thunderstorms around the eye strengthened during the night and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Storms near the core of Hurricane Zeta generated upper level divergence which pumped mass away to the north of the hurricane. Winds to hurricane force were occurring mainly in the eastern side of Zeta. Winds in the western side of the circulation were blowing at less than hurricane force.

Winds to hurricane force extended out 35 miles (55 km) on the eastern side of Hurricane Zeta. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 150 miles (240 km) from the center. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Zeta was 13.9. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 8.7 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 22.6. Hurricane Zeta was capable of causing localized serious damage.

Hurricane Zeta will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next few hours. Zeta will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C when it reaches the Gulf.  It will be under the western part of an upper level ridge where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Zeta is likely to intensify further during the next few hours and it could strengthen to Category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. An upper level trough over the south central U.S. will produce southwesterly winds which will blow toward the top of Hurricane Zeta later today. Those winds will cause more vertical wind shear and Zeta could weaken when it moves over the northern Gulf of Mexico. However, Zeta will be moving more quickly at that time and it may not weaken much before it reaches the Gulf Coast.

The upper level trough is likely to steer Hurricane Zeta toward the northeast as it approaches the Gulf Coast. Zeta could approach the coast of southeast Louisiana on Wednesday afternoon. Hurricane Zeta is likely to make landfall near Grand Isle, Louisiana. The center of Hurricane Zeta will pass very close to New Orleans and that city could experience hurricane force winds. The strongest winds will be on the eastern side of Zeta, which could also bring hurricane force winds to the coast of Mississippi. Places west of Grand Isle will experience weaker winds. Winds blowing water toward the coast could cause a storm surge of up to 8 to 12 feet (2.5 to 4 meters) along the coast of Mississippi.

Hurricane Zeta will weaken when it moves inland. Zeta will be strong enough to cause widespread power outages in southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, and central and southern Alabama. Zeta will also drop locally heavy rain over parts of the southeastern U.S. Flash Flood Watches extend from southeastern Louisiana to northern Georgia, western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee.

Zeta Intensifies to a Hurricane, Watches Issued for Gulf Coast

Former Tropical Storm Zeta intensified into a hurricane over the northwestern Caribbean Sea on Monday. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Hurricane Zeta was located at latitude 19.5°N and longitude 86.0°W which put it about 90 miles (145 km) southeast of Cozumel, Mexico. Zeta was moving toward the northwest at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 981 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Tulum to Dzilam, Mexico and the warning included Cancun and Cozumel. A Hurricane Watch was issued for the portion of the coast from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Mississippi/Alabama border. The Hurricane Watch included New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the portions of the coast from Punta Allen to Tulum, Mexico and from Dzilam to Progresso. Tropical Storm Watches were issued for the portions of the coast from Intracoastal City to Morgan City, Louisiana and from the Mississippi/Alabama border to Okaloosa/Walton County Line, Florida.

Former Tropical Storm Zeta intensified quickly into a hurricane on Monday. More thunderstorms formed near the center of circulation and the circulation became more symmetrical. Storms that formed near the center of Hurricane Zeta generated upper level divergence which pumped mass away from the hurricane. The removal of mass allowed the surface pressure to decrease, which contributed to the increase in wind speed. Winds to hurricane force extended out 25 miles (40 km) from the center in the northeast quadrant of Zeta. The winds in the other quadrants were blowing at less than hurricane force. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 120 miles (195 km) in the eastern half of Hurricane Zeta. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 80 miles (130 km) in the western half of Zeta.

Hurricane Zeta will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next few hours and it could strengthen more. Zeta will move across the Yucatan Peninsula on Monday night. It will likely weaken while the center passes over land. Hurricane Zeta will move over the southern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday. Zeta will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C when it reaches the Gulf.  It will be under the western part of an upper level ridge where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Zeta is likely to intensify on Tuesday. An upper level trough over the southwestern U.S. will produce southwesterly winds which will blow toward the top of Hurricane Zeta. Those winds will cause more vertical wind shear and Zeta could weaken when it moves over the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane Zeta will move around the western end of a ridge of high pressure. The ridge will steer Zeta toward the northwest on Monday and Tuesday. On its anticipated track Hurricane Zeta will pass over the northeastern tip of Yucatan Peninsula on Monday night. Zeta will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to the northeastern Yucatan. It will also cause a storm surge of 4 to 7 feet (1 to 2 meters) along the coast where the wind blows the water toward the shore. Hurricane Zeta will move more toward the north on Wednesday when it moves around the western end of the ridge. Zeta could approach the coast of southeast Louisiana on Wednesday afternoon. Zeta is likely to still be a hurricane when it approaches the Gulf Coast

Hurricane Delta Brings Wind and Rain to Louisiana

Hurricane Delta brought wind and rain to Louisiana on Friday evening.  At 8:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Hurricane Delta was located at latitude 30,0°N and longitude 93.0°W which put it about 25 miles west-southwest of Jennings, Louisiana.  Delta was moving toward the north-northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 105 m.p.h. (165 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 971 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from High Island, Texas to Morgan City, Louisiana.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the portions of the coast from San Luis Pass to High Island, Texas and from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Mouth of the Pearl River.  The Tropical Storm Warning includes New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.

According the National Hurricane Center the center of Hurricane Delta officially made landfall on the coast of Louisiana near Creole.  The maximum sustained wind speed at the time of landfall was 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h).  Winds to hurricane force extended out 40 miles (65 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 160 miles (260 km).

Hurricane Delta weakened on Friday while moved toward the coast of Louisiana.  An upper level trough produced southwesterly winds which blew toward the top of Delta.  Those winds caused moderate vertical wind shear.  The circulation around Hurricane Delta pulled drier air about the southern side of the hurricane.  In addition, Delta moved over cooler water near the coast of Louisiana.  The combination of shear, drier air and cooler water caused the circulation to weaken on Friday afternoon.

Even though it weakened, Hurricane Delta brought strong winds and rain to Louisiana.  A weather station in Lake Charles, Louisiana reported a sustained wind speed of 64 m.p.h. (103 km/h) and a wind gust of 95 m.p.h. (153 km/h).  A weather station at Lake Arthur, Louisiana reported a sustained wind speed of 77 m.p.h. (125 km/h) and a wind gust of 96 m.p.h. (154 km/h).  A weather station at Cameron, Louisiana reported a sustained wind speed of 58 m.p.h. (93 km/h) and a wind gust of 78 m.p.h. (128 km/h).  A weather station at Port Arthur, Texas reported a wind gust of 71 m.p.h. (114 km/h).

Winds blowing around the eastern side of Hurricane Delta pushed water toward the coast and cause a storm surge.  A station at Freshwater Canal Locks in Louisiana reported a water level rise of 8 feet (2.4 meters).  Delta also dropped heavy rain over parts of Louisiana.  Flash Flood Warnings were issued for some of the areas around Lake Charles and Lafayette, Louisiana.

Hurricane Delta will weaken steadily as it moves farther inland.  The upper level trough will steer Delta toward the northeast during the next several days.  On its anticipated track Delta will move across Louisiana toward southwest Tennessee.  The center of Delta will pass near Alexandria and Monroe, Louisiana.  Flash Flood Watches were in effect for Louisiana, northern Mississippi. southeastern Arkansas, and southwestern Tennessee.

Hurricane Delta Nears Louisiana

Hurricane Delta neared the coast of Louisiana on Friday morning.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday the center of Hurricane Delta was located at latitude 28.0°N and longitude 93.8°W which put it about 130 miles (215 km) south of Cameron, Louisiana.  Delta was moving toward the north at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 115 m.p.h. (185 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 135 m.p.h. (220 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 962 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from High Island, Texas to Morgan City, Louisiana.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the portions of the coast from Sargent to High Island Texas and from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Mouth of the Pearl River.  The Tropical Storm Warning included New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.

Hurricane Delta started to weaken slowly on Friday morning as it moved into a less favorable environment.  An upper level trough over the south central U.S.  was producing southwesterly winds which were blowing toward the top of Delta.  Those winds were starting to increase the vertical wind shear.  They were also inhibiting upper level divergence to the south of the hurricane which was causing the surface pressure to increase.

Even though it was weakening, Hurricane Delta remained a formidable hurricane.  There was an eye with a diameter of 40 miles (65 km) at the center of Delta.  The eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms revolving the core of Hurricane Delta were already dropping heavy rain over parts of southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana.

Winds to hurricane force extended out 40 miles (65 km) from the center of Hurricane Delta.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 160 miles (260 km) from the center of circulation.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Delta was 20.6.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 13.8 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 34.4.  Hurricane Delta was capable of causing regional major damage.

The upper level trough over the south central U.S. will steer Hurricane Delta toward the north-northeast during the next 12 to 24 hours.  On its anticipated track Delta will make landfall on the coast of Louisiana east of Cameron in a few hours.  Hurricane Delta will bring strong winds and heavy rain to parts of the area around Lake Charles that were affected by Hurricane Laura a few weeks ago.  Only temporary repairs have been made to numerous structures.  So, wind and rain damage will be greater than they would have been if all buildings were still intact.  Hurricane Delta will also cause a storm surge of 9 to 12 feet (3 to 4 meters) along the coast.  Locally heavy rain will cause flash floods in some locations.  Widespread power outages could also occur.

Delta Strengthens Back to a Major Hurricane

Hurricane Delta strengthened back to a major hurricane on Thursday afternoon.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Hurricane Delta was located at latitude 24.8°N and longitude 93.4°W which put it about 345 miles (555 km) south of Cameron, Louisiana.  Delta was moving toward the northwest at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 115 m.p.h. (185 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 135 m.p.h. (220 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 959 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from High Island, Texas to Morgan City, Louisiana.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the portions of the coast from Sargent to High Island, Texas and from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Mouth of the Pearl River.  The Tropical Storm Warning includes New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.

Hurricane Delta strengthened steadily on Thursday.  A circular eye with a diameter of 35 miles (55 km) formed at the center of Delta.  A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Hurricane Delta.  Storms near the core generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the hurricane.  The removal of mass allowed the surface pressure to decrease and the wind speed to increase.

The circulation around Hurricane Delta increased in size on Thursday.  Winds to hurricane force extended out 35 miles (55 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 160 miles (260 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Delta was 20.6.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 12.7 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 33.3.  Delta was capable of causing regional major damage.

Hurricane Delta will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 12 to 18 hours.  Delta will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Delta will continue to intensify in the short term and it could reach Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

Hurricane Delta will move around the western end of a high pressure system on Friday.  The high will steer Delta toward the north.  An upper level trough over the south central U.S. will turn Delta toward the north-northeast on Friday afternoon.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Delta will make landfall on the coast of Louisiana late on Friday afternoon or on Friday evening.

Hurricane Delta could hit the same area southeast of Lake Charles, Louisiana that was affected by Hurricane Laura.  Delta will bring strong winds and heavy rain to Louisiana.  It could cause a storm surge of 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 meters) along the coast.  A number of structures in the region have temporary blue tarps in place of permanent roofs.  Hurricane Delta could cause more than the usually expected wind and rain damage in areas affected by Hurricane Laura.  There are also likely to be widespread power outages in the area.

Hurricane Delta Clips Northeast Yucatan, Watches Issued for U.S.

Hurricane Delta clipped the northeastern corner of the Yucatan Peninsula on Wednesday morning and watches were issued for portions of the U.S. Gulf Coast.  At 11:00 a.m EDT on Wednesday the center of Hurricane Delta was located at latitude 21.4°N and longitude 88.0°W which put it about 65 miles (105 km) west-southeast of Cabo Catoche, Mexico.  Delta was moving toward the northwest at 17 m.p.h. (28 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 105 m.p.h. (165 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 125 m.p.h. (200 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 975 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Tulum to Dzilam, Mexico including Cozumel.  A Hurricane Watch was issued for the portion of the coast from High Island, Texas to Grand Isle, Louisiana.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the portions of coast from Punta Herrero to Tulum, Mexico and from Dzilam to Progreso, Mexico.  Tropical Storm Watches were issued for the portions of the coast from San Luis Pass to High Island, Texas and from Grand Isle, Louisiana to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi including New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.

Hurricane Delta brought strong winds and locally heavy rain to the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula and the island of Cozumel on Wednesday morning.  The center of Delta officially made landfall on the coast about 20 miles (30 km) south of Cancun, Mexico.  A weather station in Cancun reported a sustained wind speed of 84 m.p.h. (135 km/h) and a wind gust of 106 m.p.h. (170 km/h).

Hurricane Delta weakened during Tuesday night before it made landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula.  It appeared as though an eyewall replacement cycle occurred in Hurricane Delta.  The original small eyewall, which had a diameter of 4 miles (6 km) weakened.  Since the strongest winds were occurring in that eyewall, the wind speeds decreased when it weakened.  Microwave satellite imagery suggested that a new, larger eye was developing at the center of Delta when it made landfall.

The eyewall replacement cycle also caused the size of the circulation around Hurricane Delta to increase.  Winds to hurricane force extended out 30 miles (50 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 130 miles (210 km) from the center of Delta.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Delta was 17.8.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 10.2 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size (Index (HWISI) was 28.0.  Delta was capable of causing regional serious damage.

Hurricane Delta will move through an environment favorable for intensification when it moves over the southern Gulf of Mexico.  Delta will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  It will move under the western part of an upper level ridge.  The upper level winds are weaker in that part of the ridge and there will be less vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Delta is likely to intensify during the next 24 hours.  An upper level trough over the south central U.S. will produce southerly winds which will blow toward the top of Delta on Friday.  Those winds winds cause more vertical wind shear and Delta will likely weaken when it approaches the Gulf Coast.

Hurricane Delta will move around the western end of a high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Delta toward the northwest during the next 24 hours.  Hurricane Delta will move more toward the north on Thursday when it reaches the western end of the high pressure system.  The upper level trough over the south central U.S. will turn Delta toward the north-northeast on Friday.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Delta will approach the coast of Louisiana on Friday.  Delta could be near the threshold for a major hurricane when it approaches the coast.

Hurricane Delta will bring strong winds and locally heavy rain to Louisiana on Friday.  The wind will push water toward the coast.  A storm surge of 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 meters) could occur in some locations.

Delta Rapidly Intensifies to a Major Hurricane

Hurricane Delta rapidly intensified into a major hurricane over the Northwestern Caribbean Sea on Tuesday morning.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Hurricane Delta was located at latitude 18.2°N and longitude 82.6°W which put it about 320 miles (520 km) east-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico.  Delta was moving toward the west-northwest at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 130 m.p.h. (210 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 150 m.p.h. (240 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 954 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Tulum to Dzilam, Mexico including Cancun and Cozumel.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the Cayman Islands, the Isle of Youth and Pinar del Rio, Cuba.  Tropical Storm Warnings were also in effect for the portions of the coast from Punta Herrero to Tulum and from Dzilam to Progreso, Mexico.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for La Habana, Cuba.

Hurricane Delta rapidly intensified into a major hurricane on Tuesday morning.  A small eye with a diameter of six miles (10 km) was at the center of circulation.  A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms revolving around the core of Delta.  Storms near the core generated upper level divergence which pumped large quantities of mass away from the hurricane.  The removal of mass allowed the surface pressure to decrease rapidly which contributed to the rapid intensification of Hurricane Delta.

The circulation around Hurricane Delta was relatively small.  Winds to hurricane force extended out 25 miles (40 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 90 miles (145 km) from the center of Delta.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Delta was 25.1.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 7.6 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 32.7.

Hurricane Delta will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 18 hours.  Delta will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Delta is likely to continue to intensify rapidly during the next 12 hours.  It could reach Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

Hurricane Delta will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Delta toward the northwest during the next 48 hours.  Hurricane Delta will move more toward the north on Thursday when it reaches the western end of the high pressure system.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Delta will reach the northeastern part of the Yucatan Peninsula on Tuesday night.  Delta will bring damaging winds and locally heavy rain to area around Cancun and Cozumel.  Hurricane Delta will then move over the Gulf Mexico.  Delta could approach the coast of Louisiana on Friday night.  It could bring hurricane conditions to New Orleans on Saturday.

Hurricane Sally Grinds Slowly Toward the Gulf Coast

Hurricane Sally ground its way slowly toward the Gulf Coast on Monday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Hurricane Sally was located at latitude 28.9°N and longitude 87.6°W which put it about 90 miles (145 km) east of the Mouth of the Mississippi River.  Sally was moving toward the west-northwest at 3 m.p.h. (5 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 986 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Grand Isle, Louisiana to Navarre,, Florida including New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the portions of the coast from Morgan City, to Grand Isle, Louisiana and from Navarre to Indian Pass, Florida.

After intensifying rapidly earlier on Monday, Hurricane Sally exhibited a more steady state on Monday evening.  There was a circular eye with a diameter of 16 miles (26 km) at the center of Sally.  The eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  There was a break in the south side of the ring.  The circulation of Hurricane Sally pulled some drier air around the southern side of the core.  The drier air may have contributed to the break in the eyewall.  Storms near the core generated upper level divergence which pumped mass away to the north and the east of the hurricane.

The circulation around Hurricane Sally was relatively small.  Winds to hurricane force extended out 45 miles (75 km) from the center of circulation in the northeastern quadrant of Sally.  Elsewhere, hurricane force winds were occurring mainly in the eyewall.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 130 miles from the center of circulation.  The winds were weakest in the southwestern quadrant of the hurricane.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Sally was 16.5.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 9.5 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 27.0.  Sally was capable of causing localized serious damage.

Hurricane Sally will move through an environment mostly favorable for intensification during the next 12 hours.  Sally will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will be in a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Two other factors could inhibit further intensification of Hurricane Sally.  The drier air in the southern part of the circulation could limit the development of thunderstorms in that part of Sally.  The fact that Hurricane Sally is moving slowly means that it could mix cooler water to the surface which might reduce the energy available to drive the hurricane.  Even with the two inhibiting factors, Sally could intensify again on Tuesday.

Hurricane Sally will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system during the next 36 hours.  The steering currents are weak in that region and Sally will move slowly.  The slow movement of Hurricane Sally near the Gulf Coast means that any slight wobbles could affect the location of landfall.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Sally could approach the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama on Tuesday night.  A wobble to the left could bring Sally ashore in southeastern Louisiana while a wobble to the right would bring it closer to Northwest Florida.

Hurricane Sally will bring strong winds to the coast of Mississippi and Alabama.  Where the winds blow water toward the coast, Hurricane Sally could cause a storm surge of up to 12 feet (4 meters).  Hurricane Sally could drop nearly a foot (0.3 m) of rain on parts of southern Mississippi and Alabama.  Flash Flood Watches have been issued for parts of southern Mississippi, Alabama and Northwest Florida.

Elsewhere, Hurricane Paulette was speeding away from Bermuda, and Tropical Storms Teddy and Vicky organized over the eastern Atlantic Ocean.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Hurricane Paulette was located at latitude 35.7°N and longitude 62.3°W which put it about 275 miles (440 km) north-northeast of Bermuda.  Paulette was moving toward the northeast at 17 m.p.h. (28 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 105 m.p.h. (165 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 125 m.p.h. (200 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 965 mb.

At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Teddy was located at latitude 13.2°N and longitude 45.0°W which put it about 1100 miles (1770 km) east of the Lesser Antilles.  Teddy was moving toward the west at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1002 mb.

At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Vicky was located at latitude 19.5°N and longitude 29.9°W which put it about 455 miles (735 km) west-northwest of the Cabo Verde Islands.  Vicky was moving toward the mprthwest at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1000 mb.

Sally Rapidly Strengthens to a Hurricane, Paulette Hits Bermuda

Former Tropical Storm Sally rapidly strengthened into a hurricane on Monday morning and Hurricane Paulette hit Bermuda.  At 12:30 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Hurricane Sally was located at latitude 28.7°N and longitude 87.0°W which put it about 130 miles (210 km) east-southeast of the Mouth of the Mississippi River.  Sally was moving toward the west-northwest at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 110 m.p.h. (175 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 986 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Alabama/Florida border including New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain, and Lake Maurepas.  Tropical Storms Warnings were in effect for the portions of the coast from Intracoastal City to Morgan City Louisiana and from the Alabama/Florida border to Indian Pass, Florida.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Indian River Pass to the Ochlockonee River, Florida.

Formerly Tropical Storm Sally intensified rapidly on Monday morning.  A circular eye formed at the center of Hurricane Sally.  The eye was surrounded by a ring of very strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Sally.  Storms near the core generated strong upper level divergence which pumped mass away from the hurricane in all directions.  Winds to hurricane force extend out 25 miles (40 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out 130 miles (210 km) from the center.

Hurricane Sally will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 18 hours.  Sally will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Sally will continue to intensify and it is likely to strengthen rapidly.  Sally could intensify into a major hurricane during the next 24 hours.

Hurricane Sally will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system the extends from the western Atlantic Ocean over the southeastern U.S.  The high will steer Sally toward the west-northwest during the next 12 hours.  Hurricane Sally will move more toward the north on Tuesday when it reaches the western end of the high.  Sally will move more slowly when it reaches the western end of the high pressure system.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Sally will approach the Mouth of the Mississippi River on Monday night.  Sally could make landfall on the coast of Mississippi on Tuesday,

Hurricane Sally will bring strong winds to southeastern Louisiana and the coast of Mississippi.  Sally could generate a storms surge of 9 to 15 feet (3 to 5 meters) along the coast.  Hurricane Sally will also drop very heavy rain and flash floods are likely.

Elsewhere, Hurricane Paulette hit Bermuda on Monday morning.  There were reports of minor wind damage and power outages.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Monday the center of Hurricane Paulette was located at latitude 33.2°N and longitude 64.8°W which put it about 65 miles (105 km) north of Bermuda.  Paulette was moving toward the north at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 970 mb.  A Hurricane Warning remained in effect for Bermuda.