And its expected to bring up to 20 inches of rain to the Gulf Coast.

By Alison Fox
September 15, 2020
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As Hurricane Sally heads toward the Gulf Coast as a Category 1 storm, with “historic flooding” is predicted, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane Sally is one of five tropical cyclones currently spinning in the Atlantic, a historical milestone as its the second time that has ever occurred in history, CNN reported.

Just weeks after Hurricane Laura slammed the same area, Sally is expected to reach the north-central Gulf Coast and pass near the coast of southeastern Louisiana on Tuesday. The storm currently has maximum sustained winds near 85 mph with stronger gusts, according to the NHC, and its hurricane-force winds extend out up to 45 miles.

Sally is a slow-moving storm, creeping northwest at about 2 mph, making “extreme-life threatening flash flooding likely” through Wednesday. Ten to 20 inches of rain is expected, according to the NHC, with as much as 30 inches of rain possible in some areas inland of the central Gulf Coast from the western Florida Panhandle to far southeastern Mississippi.

In addition, a dangerous storm surge and the tide could cause normally-dry areas to flood from rising waters moving inland from the shoreline, the NHC noted. In fact, 36 percent of Mississippi’s beaches are forecast to be inundated due to storm surge, AccuWeather reported, citing a U.S. Geological Survey coastal change forecast.

Residents of Shell Beach, La. prepare their boat ahead of Hurricane Sally.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Sally is expected to take a turn north on Tuesday afternoon before slowly moving north-northeast on Tuesday night through Wednesday night.

Several airlines have issued advisories, warning travel could be impacted through Sept. 16 to and from cities, including New Orleans, La., Baton Rouge, La., Lafayette, La., Mobile, Ala., Pensacola, Fla., and Panama City, Fla. Carriers including Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Southwest, JetBlue, and American Airlines, have issued warnings of flight disruptions or flight change waivers.

The other storms in the Atlantic right now include Hurricane Paulette, Tropical Storm Teddy, Tropical Storm Vicky, and Tropical Depression Rene. The only other time there were five active tropical cyclones in the Atlantic at the same time was in 1971, CNN noted.

Hurricane Paulette made landfall in Bermuda on Monday morning while Tropical Storm Teddy is forecast to strengthen into a major hurricane by the end of the week as it approaches Bermuda.

Hurricane Sally’s impact comes just over two weeks after Hurricane Laura battered the Louisiana coast as a high-end Category 4 hurricane, bringing with it punishing winds of 150 mph.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.