Hurricane Zeta hit New Orleans, Louisiana and the coast of Mississippi on Wednesday evening. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Hurricane Zeta was located at latitude 31.5°N and longitude 88.7°W which put it about 45 miles (75 km) northeast of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Zeta was moving toward the northeast at 31 m.p.h. (50 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 978 mb.
A Hurricane Warning remained in effect for the portion of the coast from the Mouth of the Pearl River to the Mississippi/Alabama border. A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Walton/Bay County Line in Florida.
Hurricane Zeta made landfall on the coast of Louisiana near Grand Isle late on Wednesday afternoon. The eye of Zeta passed over New Orleans before moving northeast into southern Mississippi. The strongest winds in Hurricane Zeta occurred in the eastern half of the circulation. A NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS) station at Shell Beach Louisiana (SHBL1) reported a sustained wind speed of 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and a wind gust of 101 m.p.h. (163 km/h). A NOAA NOS station at the Bay Waveland Yacht Club, Mississippi (WYCM6) reported a wind speed of 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and a wind gust of 103 m.p.h. (167 km/h). The National Weather Service (NWS) office at the airport in New Orleans (KMSY) reported a Peak Wind of 71 m.p.h. (115 km/h). A station in Biloxi, Mississippi (KBIX) reported a sustained wind speed of 64 m.p.h. (104 km/h) and a wind gust of 87 m.p.h. (141 km/h). A station in Mobile, Alabama (KMOB) reported a sustained wind speed of 48 m.p.h. (78 km/h) and a wind gust of 91 m.p.h. (146 km/h).
There were reports of significant storm surges along the coast of Mississippi. There were also reports of widespread power outages in southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi.
Hurricane Zeta will move rapidly northeastward across Alabama during the night. The center of Zeta will be over northwestern Georgia by Thursday morning. Hurricane Zeta will weaken to a tropical storm during the night, but it will be capable of causing additional power outages. Zeta will also drop locally heavy rain. Flash Flood Watches were in effect for the area from Alabama to western Virginia. Zeta will eventually merge with a cold front and make a transition to an extratropical cyclone. The extratropical cyclone could contribute to snow that will fall over the northeastern U.S.