While Sally looks to move onshore Wednesday morning, there is still quite a bit of uncertainty in the exact location and timing of landfall. Unfortunately with a landfall near the Mississippi/Alabama state-line that puts the most dangerous part of the storm (eastern, northeastern eye-wall) in Alabama, right by Mobile Bay. This will cause a damaging storm surge to build up in the Bay and along the Gulf Coast. Breaking waves on top of this high ocean water will bring damaging to any building not above the water level.
So what does Sally mean for us? The short answer is rain and some gusty wind. The longer answer is that not all of North Alabama will experience the impacts of Sally in the same way. In fact, rain (and possible flooding) will be more of an issue for our southeastern counties. In parts of Marshall and DeKalb Counties, as much as 2 inches of rain are possible with locally higher amounts not out of the realm of possibility either.
Gusty wind will be experienced by all, with higher gusts the closer the center tracks to us. Most locations right now can expect wind gusting upwards of 30 mph at the strongest. Keep in mind there’s still some uncertainty with the exact path of Sally’s remnants. Some data sources are pulling the remnants farther to the southeast, from central Alabama into central Georgia, barely grazing North Alabama. You’ll need to pay attention to the forecasts for regular updates in the coming days.
Nevertheless, things shape up nicely just in time for the weekend. The rain pulls out Friday and a cold front passes, ushering in drier, fall-like air for Saturday. Lows dip to near 60 Saturday night and highs both Saturday and Sunday will struggle to reach the 80 degree mark, even with abundant sunshine (and perhaps and little smoke).