As of 5 a.m. this morning, Sally is still a hurricane with winds of 85 mph, which is slightly lower than overnight.
This weakening is due to some unfavorable atmospheric conditions that are starting to affect Sally, like shear in the upper atmosphere and some upwelling of slightly cooler water from the bottom layers of the Gulf of Mexico.
Sally is the seventh hurricane so far this season while the normal is six.
Sally will be third hurricane making landfall along the Gulf Coast this season.
Sally will also be the fourth hurricane to make landfall in the U.S this season. The last time we had more than four hurricanes to make landfall in the U.S. was in 2005 when there were five, including Hurricane Katrina.
Sally is expected to crawl very slowly across the northern Gulf of Mexico over the next 24 hours and will make landfall some time Wednesday morning with possibly Category 1 hurricane winds near 85 mph.
The landfall should be somewhere on that Alabama and Mississippi state line putting Mobile Bay in the worst part of the storms at landfall.
Now that the hurricane is expected to have less wind as it makes landfall, the biggest threat will be the deadly flooding and storm surge along the Gulf Coast.
As Sally continues to crawl inland over Alabama and Georgia, historic rainfall and flooding is possible in the area.
Rainfall totals could reach near 30 inches of rain in eastern Mississippi, Alabama and into the Florida panhandle.
The current maximum rainfall record from a tropical cyclone in Alabama currently is 37.75 inches on Dauphin Island. This was from Hurricane Danny in 1997 when it hit Alabama as a Category 1 storm.
Up to a foot of rain could fall from central Alabama to Georgia and northern South Carolina, including Atlanta and even into Charlotte, North Carolina where major flash flooding is expected.
As Sally makes landfall on the Alabama and Mississippi border on Wednesday, the highest storm surge should be from Louisiana into Mississippi and east to Mobile Bay where the water will rise 6 to 9 feet.
Storm surge of up to 4 feet is possible even in Florida and parts of Lake Pontchartrain on the northern side of New Orleans.
Besides Sally in the Gulf, we are monitoring six other tropical systems: Paulette that hit Bermuda yesterday and the newly formed Vicky and Teddy.
Teddy is expected to become a major hurricane by Friday and could threaten Bermuda once again by this weekend while Vicky is not posing any threat to land.