SUMMARY OF 100 PM CDT…1800 UTC…INFORMATION
ABOUT 145 MI…235 KM SW OF THE MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER
ABOUT 155 MI…255 KM SSW OF NEW ORLEANS LOUISIANA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…100 MPH…155 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NNE OR 25 DEGREES AT 20 MPH…35 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…975 MB…28.79 INCHES
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…
* Mouth of the Atchafalaya River to Navarre Florida
* Lake Borgne, Lake Pontchartrain, Pensacola Bay, and Mobile Bay
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Morgan City Louisiana to the Mississippi/Alabama border
* Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Metropolitan New Orleans
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Mississippi/Alabama border to Walton/Bay County Line Florida
DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK
At 100 PM CDT, the center of Hurricane Zeta was located near latitude 27.9 North, longitude 91.1 West. Zeta is moving toward the north-northeast near 20 mph. A faster north-northeastward motion is expected through tonight followed by an even faster northeastward motion on Thursday and an east-northeastward motion early Friday. On the forecast track, the center of Zeta will make landfall in southeastern Louisiana this afternoon. Zeta will then move close to the Mississippi coast this evening, and move across the southeastern and eastern United States on Thursday.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 100 mph with higher gusts. Some additional strengthening is possible during the next few hours, and Zeta is expected to reach the northern Gulf Coast as a hurricane before weakening over the southeastern United States on Thursday.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles.
The minimum central pressure reported by an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft is 975 MB (28.79 inches).
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
STORM SURGE: Along the northern Gulf Coast, the combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide…
- The mouth of the Pearl River to Dauphin Island AL…6-9 ft
- Port Fourchon LA to the Mouth of the Mississippi River…5-8 ft
- Mouth of the Mississippi River to the Mouth of the Pearl River including Lake Borgne…5-7 ft
- The mouth of the Atchafalaya River to Port Fourchon LA…4-6 ft
- Mobile Bay…4-6 ft
- Dauphin Island AL to AL/FL border…3-5 ft
- Lake Pontchartrain…3-5 ft
- AL/FL border to Navarre FL including Pensacola Bay…2-4 ft
- Intracoastal City LA to the Mouth of the Atchafalaya River including Vermilion Bay…1-3 ft
- Navarre FL to Yankeetown FL including Choctawhatchee Bay and Saint Andrew Bay…1-3 ft
The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the right of the landfall location, where the surge will be accompanied by large and dangerous waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances.
WIND: Hurricane conditions are expected within the Hurricane Warning area on the northern Gulf Coast later this afternoon, with tropical storm conditions beginning within the next few hours. Tropical storm conditions are expected within the Tropical Storm Warning area on the northern Gulf Coast by late today.
Damaging winds, especially in gusts, will spread well inland across portions of southeastern Mississippi, Alabama, and northern Georgia this evening through early Thursday morning, and into the Carolinas and southeastern Virginia on Thursday. Wind gusts could be especially severe across the southern Appalachian Mountains on Thursday.
RAINFALL: Areas of heavy rainfall, both in advance of and along the track of Zeta, will impact areas from the central Gulf Coast to the Mid-Mississippi and Ohio Valleys, and eastward into the southern to central Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic today through Thursday. Rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches with isolated amounts of 6 inches are expected across these areas, resulting in flash, urban, small stream, and minor river flooding.
TORNADOES: A few tornadoes are expected this afternoon through tonight over southeastern parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, southern Alabama, and the western Panhandle of Florida.