Zeta eyes the Gulf Coast

Published: Updated:

After striking the Yucatan at hurricane intensity Monday night, Zeta has emerged over the warm waters of the southern Gulf of Mexico, and is expected to become a hurricane again by tomorrow morning.

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, Zeta remains a tropical storm, with maximum sustained wind of 65 mph. The storm is located about 450 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River, and is moving to the northwest at 14 mph.

Over the next day or so, Zeta is forecast to accelerate to the north, then northeast, making landfall in southeast Louisiana by tomorrow tonight. The eye of the storm is forecast to pass near or just east of New Orleans. After that, a path into southern Mississippi and Alabama is expected.

An initial swath of heavy rain will begin to impact the central Gulf Coast tonight, spreading north into the Tennessee Valley on Wednesday. Rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches (isolated higher) are anticipated across eastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, Alabama, northern Georgia, and the southern Appalachians into the Mid-Atlantic through Thursday.

This will likely result in flash, urban, small stream, and minor river flooding.

A few tornadoes are possible late Wednesday over southeastern Mississippi, southern Alabama, and the western Panhandle of Florida. This is due to the proximity of Zeta’s landfall.

Water level rise mixed with the onset of high tide will allow for storm surge values to peak at 5 to 8 feet from the mouth of the Pearl River to Dauphin Island, Alabama.

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for Intracoastal City, Louisiana to Navarre, Florida, Lake Borgne, Lake Pontchartrain, Vermilion Bay, Pensacola Bay, and Mobile Bay.

A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, during the next 36 hours in the indicated locations.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Morgan City, Louisiana to the Mississippi/Alabama border, Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Metropolitan New Orleans.

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Punta Allen to Progreso, Mexico, Cozumel, the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line in Florida.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for west of Morgan City to Intracoastal City, Louisiana.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.