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Hurricane Sally will bring devastating floods to the Southern United States

Enlarge / The Atlantic tropics at 11am ET on Tuesday, September 15.

It is September 15, with more than two months remaining in the Atlantic hurricane season, and there is just one name left in the cupboard for tropical cyclones—Wilfred. And this storm will probably form off the coast of Africa in a day or two.

In some ways, this has been a truly bonkers year for Atlantic hurricane activity, and in other ways it has been fairly pedestrian. But before assessing the climatology, it’s worth focusing on the one storm certain to have a direct impact on the United States, Hurricane Sally.

Sally’s flooding

Hurricane Sally has fortunately not intensified during the last 12 hours. Instead, it has weakened some, thanks to wind shear affecting the ability of its low-level and mid-level cores to align perfectly. This wind shear from its west, along with the upwelling of cooler water deeper in the Gulf, should prevent further strengthening today. The National Hurricane Center predicts the storm will have maximum sustained winds of 85mph when it comes ashore Wednesday morning along the Alabama coastline.

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