weather sally ivan track comparison 09162020
CNN  — 

Hurricane Sally made landfall Wednesday morning, exactly 16 years to the day and almost to the hour when Hurricane Ivan made landfall in 2004.

More interestingly, they not only share a landfall date, but also the exact landfall location; Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Both Ivan and Sally’s landfall location and timing were eerily similar.

Their distances were only about 15 miles apart, and they made landfall early in the morning only about 3 hours apart – Ivan at 3 a.m. and Sally shortly before 6 a.m.

Ivan was a bit stronger, making landfall as a Category 3 storm with sustained winds of 120 mph. Sally made landfall as a Category 2 storm with sustained winds of 105 mph.

The tracks of the storm are also very similar

After landfall, the tracks of the storms bear very close similarities.

Sally is expected to slowly push through Georgia and the Carolinas before tracking into the Atlantic Ocean.

Ivan’s track was slightly west and north of Sally, but still impacted many of the same states: Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina (in addition to Tennessee and Virginia).

From there, Ivan’s track gets a little crazy.

Ivan pushed out into the Atlantic Ocean before diving south and crossing back over southern Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico.

Finally, Ivan made another landfall near Cameron, Louisiana, as a tropical depression on September 23.

For now, Sally’s track just has the storm going out into the Atlantic Ocean this Friday as a post-tropical depression, prior to dissipating.

There is one difference, though

One difference between the two hurricanes is the speed.

For about three days, Sally barely moved faster than a turtle.

At landfall, Sally was only moving at 2 mph; sea turtles as well as the average human can do around 3-4 mph.

Ivan, however, was much faster, with a landfall speed of around 13 mph.

That forward speed is important in terms of rainfall, as Sally was able to dump a significant amount more rain across some areas due the hurricane’s slow forward movement.

The risk of tornadoes from each hurricane

With Ivan, there were 29 tornado reports the day before landfall, 23 tornado reports on landfall day, and 59 tornado reports the day after across five states.

A grand total of 111 tornado reports were tallied in just three days across eight states: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

There is a slight risk (level two out of five) for tornadoes Wednesday in Florida, Alabama and Georgia from Sally.

“Hurricanes and tropical storms that make landfall in the Gulf of Mexico are more likely to produce tornadoes compared to storms in the Atlantic,” explains CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller.

However, not all coastlines on the Gulf of Mexico are equally threatened.

weather servere storm outlook sally 09162020

Note that this is less true for Texas landfalls in the Gulf – since the coastline angles more south to north like the Atlantic East Coast, rather than east to west like in the northern Gulf of Mexico coastline of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida Panhandle,” Miller said.

In other words, a tropical system that makes landfall in Alabama, like Sally, could produce a few more tornadoes than a landfall in, say, Galveston, Texas.

CNN meteorologists Brandon Miller and Haley Brink contributed to this story.