The Latest on Zeta; Tropical Storm Watch Issued for Parts of Central Alabama


A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued until further notice for Autauga, Chilton, Coosa, Dallas, Elmore, Lowndes, Marengo, Montgomery, Perry counties in Central Alabama. A Tropical Storm Watch means tropical-storm-force winds are possible somewhere within this area within the next 48 hours.

Wind gusts will be equivalent to tropical-storm-force with peak sustained winds at 30-40 MPH and gusts potentially exceeding 50 MPH. The main windows for tropical storm conditions will be from Wednesday evening through Thursday morning.

Plan for dangerous wind of equivalent strong tropical storm force. Efforts to protect life and property should now be underway. Prepare for significant wind damage. Act now to complete preparations before the wind becomes hazardous.

POTENTIAL SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS: Some damage to roofing and siding materials, along with damage to porches, awnings, carports, and sheds. A few buildings experiencing window, door, and garage door failures. Mobile homes damaged, especially if unanchored. Unsecured lightweight objects become dangerous projectiles. Several large trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are shallow-rooted. Several fences and roadway signs blown over. Some roads impassable from large debris, and more within urban or heavily wooded places. A few bridges, causeways, and access routes impassable. Scattered power and communications outages, but more prevalent in areas with above-ground lines.


At 700 AM CDT (1200 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Zeta was located over the northern Yucatan Peninsula near latitude 21.3 North, longitude 89.0 West. Zeta is moving toward the northwest near 14 mph (22 km/h), and this general motion is forecast to continue today. Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph (110 km/h) with higher gusts. Zeta is forecast to re-strengthen when it moves over the southern Gulf of Mexico later this morning and become a hurricane again later today.

Zeta should turn toward the north tonight, and a faster northward to north-northeastward motion is expected on Wednesday. On the forecast track, the center of Zeta will move over the southern Gulf of Mexico later this morning, and over the central Gulf of Mexico tonight. Zeta is forecast to approach the northern Gulf Coast at or near hurricane
strength on Wednesday and make landfall within the hurricane warning area late Wednesday or Wednesday night.

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 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 Okaloosa/Walton County Line Florida

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…

* Port Fourchon LA to Dauphin Island AL including Lake Borgne…4-6 ft
* Intracoastal City LA to Port Fourchon LA including Vermilion Bay…2-4 ft
* Dauphin Island AL to Navarre FL including Mobile Bay and Pensacola Bay…2-4 ft
* Lake Pontchartrain…2-4 ft
* Navarre FL to Yankeetown FL including Choctawhatchee Bay and Saint Andrew Bay…1-3 ft

RAINFALL: An initial area of heavy rains will begin to impact the central Gulf Coast tonight, spreading north into the Tennessee Valley on Wednesday. The core of the heavy rains associated with Zeta will push northeast from eastern Louisiana, across southern Mississippi, Alabama, northern Georgia through Wednesday night, and through the southern Appalachians into the Mid-Atlantic on 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.

WIND: Hurricane conditions are expected within the Hurricane Warning area on the northern Gulf Coast late Wednesday, with tropical storm conditions beginning Wednesday afternoon. Tropical storm conditions are expected within the Tropical Storm Warning area on the northern Gulf Coast by late Wednesday, and tropical storm conditions are possible within the Tropical Storm Watch area late Wednesday.

TORNADOES: A few tornadoes are possible Wednesday and Wednesday night over southeastern Mississippi, southern Alabama, and the western Panhandle of Florida.

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