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Storm Sally: Hurricane set to smash US east coast in days – threat to life warning issued

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The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) warned the tropical Storm Sally will bring flash flooding across Southern Florida by Monday, before continuing on its path of destruction along the Gulf Coast. The NHC has forecast gusty winds of up to 80mph are set to trigger a hurricane into next week, with a threat to life warning issued across Louisiana and the Alabama Coast.

The latest NHC forecast states: “The depression is forecast to strengthen to a hurricane early next week as it moves across the northeastern Gulf of Mexico.

“There is an increasing risk of life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds from southeastern Louisiana to the Alabama coast.”

Up to six inches (15cm) of rain is expected along the western Florida coast to Tampa.

Jim Foerster, chief meteorologist for DTN, an energy, agriculture and weather data provider, added the latest low pressure system may cause up to 12-foot (4.2 metre) swells offshore.

Storm Sally has already began on its path of destruction this weekend with increasing winds of 40mph forcing several oil firms to evacuate across the Gulf of Mexico.

The NHC says the weather cyclone system will start to strengthen over the warm waters of the Atlantic before moving further towards inland towards the Gulf Coast.

The NHC says: “Since the system will be traversing very warm waters and through a moist air mass with moderate vertical shear for the next few days, steady strengthening is anticipated.

“The cyclone will likely become a hurricane in 2-3 days, although an increase in vertical shear could slow the rate of intensification over the northern Gulf of Mexico.”

DTN forecast Mr Foerster explained it is hard to pinpoint the exact location of where the storm could strike as the weather system may change its path.

He said: “Slow-moving storms are tricky.

“They don’t explode in intensity, but it is hard to get the exact landfall.”

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The latest weather front is not projected to approach the size or intensity of Hurricane Laura in August.

Laura rampaged across the Gulf of Mexico three weeks ago and grew into a Category 4 hurricane with 150mph winds.

The storm shut hundreds of offshore oil facilities and left residents of Louisiana and Texas without power for weeks.



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