Hurricane Zeta Impacts Alabama Tonight
ZETA ON ITS WAY: Zeta has regained hurricane intensity overnight and continues its journey towards the northern Gulf Coast, with a landfall in extreme Southeast Louisiana and another landfall along the Mississippi Gulf Coast this evening as a hurricane. No matter the classification or intensity of the system, this is a very dangerous storm, and a high impact system for the Gulf Coast and Alabama as the remnant circulation will move quickly into and across Alabama tonight
More recent specifics on Zeta: …ZETA CONTINUING TO STRENGTHEN…LIFE-THREATENING STORM SURGE AND STRONG WINDS EXPECTED ALONG PORTIONS OF THE NORTHERN GULF COAST BEGINNING AROUND MIDDAY…
The center of Hurricane Zeta was located near latitude 26.0 North, longitude 91.7 West. Zeta is moving toward the north near 17 mph. A faster northward to north-northeastward motion is expected to begin later this morning. On the forecast track, the center of Zeta will approach the northern Gulf Coast this morning and make landfall in southeastern Louisiana this afternoon. Zeta will move close to the Mississippi coast this evening, and move across the southeastern and eastern United States on Thursday.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 90 mph with higher gusts. Some additional strengthening is forecast this morning, and Zeta is expected to reach the northern Gulf Coast as a hurricane before weakening over the southeastern United States on Thursday. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles (240 km). The minimum central pressure estimated from Air Force and NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft observations is 978 mb (28.88 inches).
INLAND ALABAMA IMPACTS: This will be a HIGH impact event for the state, as gusty winds, heavy rainfall, and tornadoes are going to expected for much of the state.
WINDS: Tropical storm conditions are expected across much of South and Central Alabama, and for that reason a tropical storm warning and watch are in effect for most of the area as winds could gust to 55-65 mph tonight. The watch area will be upgraded to a warning at 10AM. These winds will certainly cause tree and power issues across the area.
RAINFALL: Rain amounts off 2-4 inches are likely for much of the state, with isolated higher amounts closer to where the center of circulation tracks. A flash flood watch has been issued for portions of the area.
TORNADOES: East and south of the center of circulation, is where we will have the issues with some isolated, brief, spin-up, tornadoes. The center should move across the state between Birmingham and Montgomery, so the best chance for these will occur along and south of the Interstate 20/59 corridor, which is most of Central and South Alabama.
Remember, forecasts with tropical systems can, and probably will change, so keep up with the latest on Zeta as it nears the coast. With so much going on and a constantly changing forecast, the potential for flooding and tornadoes, please make sure you stay informed and safe, and download the Alabama News Network Weather App.
FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Much drier and cooler air rolls into Alabama behind the departing Zeta tomorrow night, and our Friday promises to be a delightful day with ample sunshine and a high in the low 70s. For the rest of Halloween weekend, we should see more sun than clouds both days with highs over the weekend in the low 70s, with lows in the 48-54 degree range…right at seasonal averages to end October and start November.
FALL BACK TIME: Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend and we Fall Back onto Standard Time Sunday morning. You’ll need to see those clocks back one hour before heading to bed Saturday night.
THE FIRST WEEK OF NOVEMBER: For now most of the week looks dry with temperatures very close to where we should be in early November; highs in the low 70s, with lows in the 40s
Stay safe and weather aware!