Travel Alert September 2020: Hurricane Sally Already Affecting Gulf Coast of the United States

Here we go yet again.

If the central Gulf Coast of the United States is in your travel plans over the next few days, you may want to consider delaying your travel — or, at least, keep yourself updated as to the latest information pertaining to the weather — due to Hurricane Sally, whose landfall is forecast to occur somewhere along the Mississippi Gulf Coast as soon as tomorrow evening, Tuesday September 15, 2020.

Travel Alert September 2020: Hurricane Sally Already Affecting Gulf Coast of the United States

Hurricane Sally

Source: National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States.

Maximum sustained winds of Hurricane Sally — which is currently centered approximately 165 miles southeast of Biloxi in Mississippi and is moving west northwest at seven miles per hour — are 90 miles per hour, which means that this storm is classified as a strong Category 1 hurricane; and it is expected to strengthen to at least a possible Category 2 hurricane prior to landfall, which is forecast to occur somewhere along the Mississippi Gulf Coast as soon as tomorrow evening.

If the path of Hurricane Sally shifts even slightly to the west, then the first landfall could occur in extreme southeastern Louisiana as soon as tomorrow morning prior to a second landfall later that evening.

A hurricane warning is currently in effect from Morgan City in Louisiana to the border shared by Alabama and Florida. Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and the greater New Orleans metropolitan area are included in this warning.

A storm surge warning is currently in effect from Port Fourchon in Louisiana to the border shared by Alabama and Florida. Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, Lake Borgne, and Mobile Bay are included in this warning.

A tropical storm warning is currently in effect from the border shared by Alabama and Florida to Indian Pass in Florida; and in Louisiana from Intracoastal City to west of Morgan City.

A tropical storm watch is currently in effect in Florida from Indian Pass to the Ochlockonee River.

The coasts of the panhandle of Florida and southeastern Alabama are already experiencing winds of tropical storm force — meaning at least 35 miles per hour. Meanwhile, a storm surge of as much as eleven feet is possible in some areas along the central Gulf Coast of the United States; and up to 16 inches of rainfall could occur in some areas, which could result in flash flooding which may threaten lives.

Evacuations are already underway in portions of Mississippi and Louisiana.

Once Hurricane Sally ventures forth inland and weakens, portions of as many as seven states in the southeastern United States may be affected with heavy rain and gusty winds — including the cities of Atlanta and Montgomery.

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If you are traveling to or from the central Gulf Coast of the United States over the next few days, expect delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to this tropical weather system which may adversely affect your travel plans. Better yet, postponing or canceling your trip might be a better option — no matter which mode of travel you plan on taking.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary.

Here are six airlines which have issued travel alerts — or are at least monitoring the storm — as a result of this tropical weather system:

  • American Airlines has issued travel alerts for nine cities in four states for Tuesday, September 15, 2020 through Wednesday, September 16, 2020; and Monday, September 21, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Delta Air Lines has issued travel alerts for eight cities in four states for Monday, September 14, 2020 through Wednesday, September 16, 2020; and Saturday, September 19, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • United Airlines has issued travel alerts for 15 cities in four states for Monday, September 14, 2020 through Wednesday, September 16, 2020; and Sunday, September 20, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Southwest Airlines has issued travel alerts for New Orleans, Panama City, and Pensacola for Monday, September 14, 2020 through Wednesday, September 16, 2020; and Wednesday, September 30, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • JetBlue Airways has issued a travel alert for New Orleans for Tuesday, September 15, 2020; and Sunday, September 20, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Spirit Airlines has issued a travel alert for New Orleans for Monday, September 14, 2020 through Wednesday, September 16, 2020; and Sunday, September 20, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.

Summary

Expect more travel alerts to be issued by more airlines as Hurricane Sally progress over the coming days.

Be sure to contact your airline or transportation provider for the latest information pertaining to your travels — if they are adversely affected — and please: travel safely.

Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce of the United States.

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