Tropical Storm Zeta has move back out over the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday and is angling to impact the Gulf Coast of the US by Wednesday. Forecasts are calling for the storm to be at hurricane strength before making impact with the US. Forecasts are calling for life-threatening storm surge conditions as well as heavy rainfall and fast, damaging winds.
After land interaction with the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, the storm weakened from a hurricane back to a tropical storm. However, it’s forecast to be back to full hurricane status before making landfall over the US.
From Morgan City, Louisiana all the way to the Mississippi/Alabama border, hurricane and storm warnings are lighting up the map. Interests along the Gulf Coast need to be aware that evacuation orders could come soon.
Storm Tracks Along the Gulf
As the tropical storm tracks along the Gulf, it threatens to power back up to a full-fledged hurricane. The storm is predicted to bring life-threatening storm surge conditions to the coast from as far east as Navarre, Florida and to as far west as Intracostal City, Louisiana.
Thankfully for the US, there is increased wind shear further north along Zeta’s path. This, coupled with cooler waters in the northern Gulf, could help to rein the storm in slightly as it approaches the US.
While the storm was tracking northwest when it left the Yucatan after clipping Cancun, it is expected to make a sharp turn to the east and make landfall between Louisiana and Mississippi. The storm may clip part of the Florida panhandle, according to some forecasts.
The storm is projected to make landfall as a hurricane, though that doesn’t tell the whole story. The rainfall, storm surge and heavy winds from such an impact could be hugely damaging for the Gulf Coast, which has seen an historic number of hurricanes and tropical storms this season already.
Due to the storm’s projected path, it’s quite likely it could bring hurricane conditions to New Orleans and the surrounding parishes. Now is the time to make preparations to evacuate in the event that the storm takes aim at the region.
After the storm makes landfall, it is projected to rumble across the Southeast, bringing soaking rain for Mississippi, Georgia, Upstate South Carolina, Eastern Tennessee, Western North Carolina and much of Virginia. The storm could clip parts of Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey, though, by that point, would likely be little more than scattered showers.