Tropical Storm Zeta takes aim at N. Gulf Coast
Tonight and Tomorrow: Pesky clouds will remain across the region into tonight, with lows falling to around 60. Monday, the sunshine will return in the afternoon as highs warm into the 80s. Overall, it will be a nice start to the week.
Looking Ahead: As we head into next week, we'll be tracking two big features: a cold front and Zeta. Both will likely have impacts on our local forecast by mid-week. Tuesday, you will begin to notice the humidity returning to the area. Dependent on the exact of Zeta, we could begin to feel the far outer bands of the storm, bringing in brief tropical showers across south Louisiana. That may continue into Wednesday, as the storm makes a close pass to the area. A cold front will quickly trail behind Zeta, bringing in another round of cool, fall air that will stick around through the weekend just in time for Halloween.
Tropical Storm Zeta:
As of the 10PM advisory, Tropical Storm Zeta has sustained winds of 60mph and is moving NNW at 2mph. Zeta will begin to pick up speed tomorrow, and is expected to enter the southern Gulf of Mexico by Tuesday. The storm may reach hurricane status by Monday afternoon and maintain that strength into the central Gulf. The environmental conditions in the southern Gulf are more conducive for strengthening, but more harsh conditions will begin to take a toll on the storm as it closes in on the Gulf Coast.
The forecast models continue to show a possible landfall anywhere from south central Louisiana, to the Alabama/Florida border. All residents on the northern Gulf Coast need to be on alert for potential impacts from Zeta.
For our local area, impacts from Zeta will be highly dependent on the exact track. If the current forecast holds, our local area could experience periods of heavy rain and gusty winds within rain bands, but overall the impacts would be manageable. Rainfall totals will be most significant east of the center, along with the strongest winds and threat for tornadoes.
Right now, it's time to pay attention and plan for the potential of tropical storm conditions in southeast Louisiana late Tuesday, into Wednesday. Watches will likely begin to be issued sometime tomorrow.
-- Meteorologist Jake Dalton
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