NEW ORLEANS -- Tropical Storm Sally is expected to become a Category 1 hurricane -- or possibgly Category 2 -- with slow movement, which will likely bring heavy rainfall into the state when it makes landfall Tuesday or early Wednesday.
Category 1 winds range from 74 to 95 mph, while a Category 2 storm packs winds between 96 and 110 mph.
Sally will likely bring between 8 and 16 inches of rain between south central Louisiana to the Mississippi/Alabama border, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
A hurricane warning went into effect from Morgan City to Ocean Springs, Miss., and for Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas, including metropolitan New Orleans. A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.
Sally is expected to remain in a west-northwest motion through early Monday.
A slower west-northwestward motion is expected Monday and Monday night, followed by a further decrease in forward speed and a turn to the northwest Monday night and Tuesday. On the forecast track, the center of Sally will move over the north-central Gulf of Mexico tonight and Monday, and approach the north-central Gulf Coast within the hurricane warning area late Monday and Monday night. Sally is expected to move slowly northward near the southeastern Louisiana or Mississippi coasts through Tuesday.
Sally is expected to be a slow-moving system resulting in significant flash flooding for the central Gulf Coast Monday into Wednesday. Sally is expected to produce rainfall of 8 to 16 inches with isolated amounts of 24 inches over portions of the central Gulf Coast from the western Florida Panhandle to southeast Louisiana from Monday through the middle of the week. This rainfall will likely result in new widespread minor to isolated major flooding on area rivers.