Tropical Storm Zeta has weakened slightly after giving the Yucatan Peninsula a relentless pounding over night with tropical storm and hurricane conditions. The storm has now emerged off of the Peninsula into the Gulf of Mexico has its eyes set on making a second landfall near New Orleans, LA.
Current Storm Information
As of 10:00am Central Daylight Time (CDT), the storm was located at 21.6N 89.5W or about 25 miles (40 km) NNE of Progreso, Mexico or 520 miles (835 km) South of the Mouth of the Mississippi River. Maximum sustained winds are at 65mph (100 km/h) and the pressure is at 985 millibars (29.09 inHg). the present movement is NW and 14mph (22 km/h) which will continue for the rest of the day before being picked up by a short wave and making a sharp turn toward the Northeast while accelerating.
Forecast and Current Watches & Warnings
Moving across the Yucatan Peninsula has caused the storm to lose energy and downgraded to a tropical storm. This weakening trend, however, is expected to be short lived as the National Hurricane Center (NHC) predicts the storm to restrengthen up to an 85mph (135 km/h) Category 1 hurricane. After this the storm will weaken slightly to a weak but still powerful Category 1 hurricane with 75-80mph (120-130kp/h) winds at landfall. The storm will also be moving very quickly which will cause hurricane force winds to spread far inland from the coast. With these hazards, several warnings remain in effect. In Mexico, a Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect from Punta Allen to Progreso including Cozumel. For the United States, a Hurricane Warning is in effect for Morgan City, LA to the MS/AL border including Lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas as well as New Orleans Metro. a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the MS/AL Border to the Okaloosa/Walton County line in Florida as well as a Tropical Storm Watch from Intracoastal City to Morgan City, LA. Finally, a Storm Surge Warning is in effect from Intracoastal City, LA to the MS/AL Border, including Lakes Pontchartrain and Borgne as well as Vermillion Bay, Mobile Bay, and Pensacola Bay.
Overall Threat to Land
Tropical Storm Zeta is expected to being several hazards to the US. The storm will bring a dangerous and life-threatening storm surge peaking at 5-8ft. along the Mississippi Coast between the Mouth of the Pearl River to Dolphin Island, AL. The New Orleans area should expect to see 4-6ft. of storm surge while people around Lake Pontchartrain and in and around Intracoastal City to Port Fourchon including Vermillion Bay region should anticipate 2-4ft. of surge. Further West, people between Dolphin Island, AL and Narvarre, FL including Mobile and Pensacola Bay should be ready for 2-5ft. while from Narvarre to Yankeetown, FL should expect 1-3ft. of storm surge. this will cause significant damage along the coast and residents in this area should listen to local officials. Tropical Storm force winds are expected to onset Wednesday Morning with Hurricane Force winds arriving later in the day. This will cause moderate wind damage across the region and far inland from the coast. Rainfall will be another threat as 4-8″ with isolated amounts of 12″ are possible across the Cayman Islands and the Yucatan Peninsula while 2-4″ of rain with isolated amounts of 6″ are possible along the Gulf Coast and well inland into the Appalachian Mountains. This will cause minor urban flooding and significant rises on small creeks and streams. The Weather Prediction Center has issued a Slight Risk for Flash Flooding for the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama region inland to Northeastern Georgia, which means scattered flash flooding, with isolated significant flooding, is possible. A Tornado threat also exists with this storm, with the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) issuing a Slight Risk for Severe Weather for Southern Alabama to the Florida Panhandle with there being a 5% risk of a tornado 25 miles from any point in a Risk. Please Consult the NHC and local officials for official information and be prepared to take action when told to.
Remember: when tropical storm force winds onset, do not venture outside!