Hurricane Zeta Poised to Strike Southeast Louisiana Today
Hurricane Season 2020 has seemed to last a lot longer than just five months. Since June first, when the season officially began, there have been 11 named storms in the tropical Atlantic Basin. Four of those named storms have made landfall in Louisiana. The fifth named storm Hurricane Zeta is poised to cross the coast in southeastern Louisiana later this afternoon.
As the 0400CDT advisory from the National Hurricane Center, here are the particulars on the storm.
SUMMARY OF 400 AM CDT...0900 UTC...INFORMATION ---------------------------------------------- LOCATION...25.1N 91.8W ABOUT 320 MI...520 KM SSW OF THE MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER ABOUT 355 MI...570 KM SSW OF NEW ORLEANS LOUISIANA MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...85 MPH...140 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNW OR 345 DEGREES AT 17 MPH...28 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...982 MB...29.00 INCHES
Based on the official forecast track for Hurricane Zeta the system is expected to cross the coast between Morgan City and the mouth of the Mississippi River later this afternoon. Forecasters with the Hurricane Center believe that Zeta will be at least a category 1 hurricane at landfall. The system did restrengthen into a hurricane from tropical storm status during the overnight hours.
The 0600Z tropical model runs have pushed the systems anticipated landfall a little further to the east than was forecast last night. Still, there is a margin of error associated with any tropical forecast so basically, the strongest effects from the system will be felt well to the east of Acadiana, although we have already seen and will see more tropical showers and thunderstorms throughout the day today.
As with most landfalling tropical systems storm surge will be a major factor along the Louisiana coast today. Fortunately, the system is moving at a fairly rapid clip, while that might exacerbate the surge, it will prevent the system from being a prolific rainmaker.
After Zeta makes landfall those affected by the storm won't have to suffer in oppressive heat as residents in Southwest Louisiana did after the landfall of Hurricanes Laura and Delta. A cold front, that's pushing Zeta away from Acadiana, will usher in cooler temperatures for most of the state by tomorrow. So, at least the recovery efforts in and around New Orleans and other affected areas won't be quite as uncomfortable.
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