Heavy rain from Hurricane Sally is expected to remain southeast of the Mountain Empire, a meteorologist said Tuesday.
Sally is expected to make landfall on the central Gulf Coast as a category 1 hurricane today, according to the National Weather Service. The slow movement of the storm will bring significant rainfall with up to 30 inches of rain and flooding along the coast. Storm surge is expected from eastern Louisiana to western Florida.
The hurricane’s remnants will then shift northeastward across the Southeast later this week, bringing rainfall to the Tennessee Valley from this afternoon through Friday morning, the NWS said.
“The heaviest rains will remain south and east of the Tri-Cities area as the remnants of Hurricane Sally migrate across the southeast U.S. Wednesday through Friday,” said meteorologist Derek Eisentrout, who works in the NWS office in Morristown, Tennessee.
The NWS office predicts that Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee will receive less than 1 inch of rain from the storm, with even less amounts as one travels north and west.
Heavier rainfall is expected in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and southeastern Tennessee and southwestern North Carolina.
Depending on the storm’s track, northern areas may stay dry as Sally passes.
Local residents should expect increasing clouds in the Mountain Empire today as the temperature reaches 81 degrees. The first chance of rainfall is in the forecast tonight. Showers are likely Thursday and Thursday night. The forecast then calls for a 50% chance of precipitation Friday and sunny skies Saturday.