A record five named storms; Sally reaches hurricane strength en route to Gulf Coast

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WRAL meteorologists are watching seven tropical systems, including five active tropical cyclones — Sally, Paulette, Rene, Teddy and Vicky.

Vicky became the latest named storm just before 11 a.m. on Monday.

According to WRAL meteorologist Aimee Wilmoth, this is only the second time in history that we have had five or more active tropical cyclones at the same time. The last occurrence was in 1971.

Hurricane Sally will be felt in southern U.S.

The only system that will have immediate impacts on the United States is Sally, which reached hurricane strength – with top winds of 85 mph –Monday just after noon and is likely to make landfall Monday night or Tuesday morning along the southeastern coast of Louisiana as a Category 1 hurricane.

Thousands have already been asked to evacuate the state, where flooding impacts could stretch from Louisiana to the western Florida Panhandle.

Sally could produce rain totals from 15 to 24 inches by the middle of the week and a foot of storm surge, forecasters said.

“This is going to be a slow moving system, that’s the real problem,” said Wilmoth.


By Thursday and Friday, remnants from Sally could bring up to an inch of rain to North Carolina, but the impacts here will not be severe.

If Sally becomes a hurricane, it will be the 7th of the 2020 Atlantic season. Only six years on record have had more than seven hurricanes by Sept. 14.

Five named storms, one disturbance worth watching

WRAL Severe Weather Center is tracking six other systems in the tropics, including Tropical Storm Teddy, which developed Monday and is expected to become a major hurricane by Friday. Teddy is moving northwest and is not expected to make landfall anywhere, but meteorologists are closely watching it.

Tropical Storm Vicky path as of 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 14, 2020

The only impact Hurricane Paulette, which is currently moving over Bermuda, has on North Carolina is a high rip current risk for Monday and potentially Tuesday.

Tropical Storm Vicky formed Monday but is not likely to become stronger than tropical storm strength.

Tropical Depression Rene remains well out in the mid-Atlantic with winds over only about 30 to 40 mph.

It’s been an unusually active Atlantic hurricane season. Only one name – Wilfred – remains on the list Wilfred are the only names left on the list. If those names are used, storms will be named based on the Greek alphabet for the first time since 2005.