Hurricane Sally

Jun 4, 2018
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San Angelo, TX
Figured I would get a thread on Sally going. The 10am advisory showed a tropical storm with 65mph winds. At 11am, the NHC issued a statement that winds had increased to 85mph and that a full update would be posted shortly. At 1130am, that update then showed 90mph winds. I'm wondering if the explosive strengthening will continue. If it does it could spell trouble for the central Gulf Coast as what was going to be a strong cat 1 could now all of a sudden end up as a low end cat 3. The current intensity forecast (as of the 1pm advisory) only shows 105mph at landfall. Any of the more knowledgeable hurricane folks on here have any thoughts on the future intensity of Sally? Definitely worth watching.
 

Jeff House

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Sally is just upgraded to Cat 2 at 100 mph and 987 mb. Plane reports a 4 mi eye which is, tight like a figure skater pulling in their arms. Might explain the aggressive initial wind. I don't think they are using an elevated oil platform, but it might have played a role.

At this time bicycle spokes are showing up on VIS again, like they did earlier this morning. I'm not calling for another RI. However it appears to be holding its own against that weak southwest shear at mid-levels. Figure it will strengthen a little bit tonight.

Subtle hints of this tiny eye, in the middle of the deepest newest flare-up, are noted on IR and Vapor. VIS does not show it at all. So cloud tops are a little warmer, which indicates attempted subsidence. Somewhere in there, per VIS, some mid-level shear is pushing clouds through the eye.
 
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Dec 8, 2003
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Well, this one really got personal. I spend every January at a condo in Orange Beach rented by my snowbird parents, and have been doing that since 2009. I have spent all day watching videos of places I know and where I spend time. I went to sleep last night believing CAT1 Sally wasn't going to cause OB too much trouble. Most everything is built to withstand hurricanes there!

I was out on the end of the (now) semi-destroyed pier in Gulf Shores one day and there were about 15-20 dolphins swimming around, some just a few feet away. "Our" condo is right on the AL-FL line. On the FL side is the world-famous FloraBama, which was destroyed by Ivan and got rebuilt. I haven't been able to learn of the FloraBama's plight yet, but as high as the surge was and huge waves pounding at its walls I am not confident it is still there. They'll rebuild it again. I could go on and on, but I won't. First Ivan, then the oil spill, now the pandemic and this. These people cannot catch a break. We go over to Pensacola several times every year, too. Here are a couple of pics.

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Jun 4, 2018
71
62
11
30
San Angelo, TX
Well, this one really got personal. I spend every January at a condo in Orange Beach rented by my snowbird parents, and have been doing that since 2009. I have spent all day watching videos of places I know and where I spend time. I went to sleep last night believing CAT1 Sally wasn't going to cause OB too much trouble. Most everything is built to withstand hurricanes there!

I was out on the end of the (now) semi-destroyed pier in Gulf Shores one day and there were about 15-20 dolphins swimming around, some just a few feet away. "Our" condo is right on the AL-FL line. On the FL side is the world-famous FloraBama, which was destroyed by Ivan and got rebuilt. I haven't been able to learn of the FloraBama's plight yet, but as high as the surge was and huge waves pounding at its walls I am not confident it is still there. They'll rebuild it again. I could go on and on, but I won't. First Ivan, then the oil spill, now the pandemic and this. These people cannot catch a break. We go over to Pensacola several times every year, too. Here are a couple of pics.

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My family is from Mobile and used to have a house south of Fairhope on the Mobile Bay where I spent most of my summers growing up. I was watching a live stream of the Pink Pony Pub getting part of its roof blown off and such. I definitely feel you on how close to home it hit. Its disheartening to see some of my favorite places being damaged/destroyed....even more so watching it live. Luckily fatalities seem to be very low. I've only heard of 1 confirmed and 1 other person missing in OB. As much as it sucks to see our favorite landmarks destroyed, like you said, they will be rebuilt. We don't have that same luxury with lives.

And PS: I saw a video on YouTube earlier (from Live Storms Media if I remember correctly) that showed the FloraBama. It was surrounded by flood waters, but it was definitely still standing. Even still had signs on the side. So you can rest easy on the front.
 
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rdale

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Mar 1, 2004
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I went to sleep last night believing CAT1 Sally wasn't going to cause OB too much trouble. Most everything is built to withstand hurricanes there!
Fascinating - as I've heard that a lot from residents (and even leaders) in that area... Given forecasts of torrential rain with several feet of storm surge and historic river flooding, what led people to think this was just going to be a little rain and spit of wind?
 
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Dec 8, 2003
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My family is from Mobile and used to have a house south of Fairhope on the Mobile Bay where I spent most of my summers growing up. I was watching a live stream of the Pink Pony Pub getting part of its roof blown off and such. I definitely feel you on how close to home it hit. Its disheartening to see some of my favorite places being damaged/destroyed....even more so watching it live. Luckily fatalities seem to be very low. I've only heard of 1 confirmed and 1 other person missing in OB. As much as it sucks to see our favorite landmarks destroyed, like you said, they will be rebuilt. We don't have that same luxury with lives.

And PS: I saw a video on YouTube earlier (from Live Storms Media if I remember correctly) that showed the FloraBama. It was surrounded by flood waters, but it was definitely still standing. Even still had signs on the side. So you can rest easy on the front.
Yep, looks like the Flora-Bama survived.

 
Dec 8, 2003
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339
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Southeast CO
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Fascinating - as I've heard that a lot from residents (and even leaders) in that area... Given forecasts of torrential rain with several feet of storm surge and historic river flooding, what led people to think this was just going to be a little rain and spit of wind?
Because Sally's track was way over on the eastern edge of the cone, though, yes, inside the cone. Plus, she was a CAT1 up until the last few hours. Nobody really expected the RF eyewall to come ashore where it did, especially Pensacola.

I'm sure there's tons of info on Facebook, but I dont do FB.
 
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Warren Faidley

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Covered Sally from Gulf Shores after making a mad, late afternoon dash from Biloxi. Yet another hurricane where the highest winds were in darkness. I went "exploring" on foot right before sunset and was able to get enough clips and stills with wind and surge to satisfy my agents. Thought I would be trapped in Gulf Shores for a day or two from flooding, but thankfully a few chasers responded via Twitter and told me the Orange Beach route opened later in the day to those with media or EMS credentials. I'm guessing there will be at least one more, major-class hurricane in the Gulf before October 15th.

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Jul 5, 2009
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... Thought I would be trapped in Gulf Shores for a day or two from flooding, but thankfully a few chasers responded via Twitter and told me the Orange Beach route opened later in the day to those with media or EMS credentials....
You needed press/EMS credentials to get *out*??

Yet another complexity of hurricane chasing... I continue to find the logistics perplexing...
 
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Warren Faidley

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You needed press/EMS credentials to get *out*??

Yet another complexity of hurricane chasing... I continue to find the logistics perplexing...
Yes, I also thought this was weird. They (law enforcement) were apparently making exceptions for people traveling east who lived in the area (Orange Beach). The problem was that Gulf Shores was a cut off. If you wanted to get out of town you were screwed, as there are only two ways in or out. Some high-rise hotels were damaged and had no power -- they were kicking people out for safety. Your only option was to wade through hip-deep water on highway 59. I saw several people in very nice clothing wade across for about a half-mile. It was too deep for vehicles. I'm not sure what they did on the other side as the power was out there also.

Hurricane logistics are always crazy and you have to plan for days (or longer) of being stranded. This is one reason I spend hours on Google Earth and surveying areas when I'm there for future reference. FEMA almost always takes aerials after a major event, so I can compare them to before images. There are only six locations along the Gulf coast (on the water) where I would ride out a large Cat-5: Biloxi, Galveston, Tampa, Mobile, Pensacola and Corpus Christi. Someday, no doubt.