Hurricane Sally heads toward US Gulf Coast

By Meg Wagner and Judson Jones, CNN

Updated 8:01 p.m. ET, September 15, 2020
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8:13 a.m. ET, September 15, 2020

Hurricane Sally went into rapid intensification yesterday. Here's what that means.

From CNN's Brandon Miller

Hurricane Sally officially underwent "rapid intensification" on Monday, a term that refers to a storm’s maximum sustained winds increasing at least 35 mph in 24 hours or less, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Here's why that matters: Rapid intensification is one of the ways scientists believe climate change is impacting hurricanes, with warmer waters helping storms to grow stronger and do so faster. Hurricanes Hanna and Laura also rapidly intensified earlier this year before making landfall in Texas and Louisiana, respectively.

The slow-moving Hurricane Sally weakened to a Category 1 storm early Tuesday, but is could gain strength before making landfall along the Gulf Coast, according to the National Hurricane Center.