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Beryl Brings Rain and Storms to Central U.S.

Former Hurricane Beryl is bringing rain and thunderstorms to parts of the central U.S. on Tuesday.  Beryl weakened to a tropical depression on Monday night as it moved farther inland. At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Depression Beryl was located at latitude 35.8°N and longitude 91.2°W which put the center about 35 miles (55 km) west-southwest of Jonesboro, Arkansas.  Beryl was moving toward the northeast at 25 m.p.h. (40 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1004 mb.

A day after Hurricane Beryl hit the coast of Texas and caused over 2.5 million customers to lose electricity, Beryl is bringing rain and thunderstorms to parts of the central U.S.  The center of the surface circulation of former Hurricane Beryl is located over northeastern Arkansas.  Thunderstorms are starting to form in bands over Alabama, western Tennessee and western Kentucky.  Steady light to moderate rain is falling over Missouri, central Illinois and central Indiana.

An upper level trough over the central U.S. will steer Tropical Depression Beryl toward the northeast during the next 24 hours.  On its anticipated track the center of Beryl’s circulation will move from northeastern Arkansas to northern Indiana.

Tropical Depression Beryl will drop heavy rain over parts of the Middle Mississippi River Valley and Lower Great Lakes.  The heaviest rain is likely to fall in southeastern Missouri, central and eastern Illinois, northwestern Indiana and southern Michigan.

Flood Watches are in effect for northern Arkansas, central and southern Missouri, Illinois, far western Kentucky, northern Indiana and southern Michigan.

The circulation around the eastern side of Tropical Depression Beryl could generate enough low level wind shear for rotation in thunderstorms.  Some thunderstorms could produce tornadoes.  The U.S. National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center (SPC) is indicating an Enhanced Risk of Severe Weather for the area stretching from Cincinnati, Ohio through Louisville, Kentucky to Evansville, Indiana.

Tropical Depression Nicole Drops Heavy Rain over Southeast U.S.

Tropical Depression Nicole dropped heavy rain over parts of the southeastern U.S. on Friday morning. At 10:00 a.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Depression Nicole was located at latitude 34.2°N and longitude 84.3°W which put it about 35 miles (55 km) north of Atlanta, Georgia. Nicole was moving toward the north-northeast at 23 m.p.h. (37 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1001 mb.

Tropical Storm Nicole dropped heavy rain over parts of the southeastern U.S. on Friday morning. Heavy rain was falling over eastern Tennessee and eastern Kentucky. Bands in the far eastern side of Nicole’s circulation contained thunderstorms that were dropping heavy rain over parts of eastern South Carolina, eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia. Easterly winds blowing around the northern side of Nicole’s circulation were enhancing convergence and rising motion ahead of a cold front moving toward the eastern U.S. The enhanced convergence and rising motion was contributing to rain that was falling in the region from Delaware to Ohio.

The cold front approaching the eastern U.S. and an upper level trough over the central U.S. will steer Tropical Depression Nicole quickly toward the north-northeast during Friday. On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Depression Nicole will be over West Virginia by Friday evening. Heavy rain falling over parts of the southeastern U.S. and Appalachians could cause flooding. Flood Watches were in effect for parts of northern South Carolina, western North Carolina and southern Virginia. There could be enough low level wind shear for tornadoes to develop in the bands on the far eastern side of the circulation around Tropical Depression Nicole. A Tornado Watch was in effect for eastern South Carolina, eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia.

Disturbance Drops Rain on Southeast U.S.

A disturbance designated as Invest 90L dropped rain over the southeast U.S. on Monday morning. At 8:00 a.m. EDT on Monday the center of the disturbance was located near latitude 32.7°N and longitude 86.7°W which put it about 30 miles (50 km) north-northwest of Montgomery, Alabama. The disturbance was moving toward the north-northeast at 23 m.p.h. (37 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1011 mb.

A disturbance that formed over the Gulf of Mexico during the weekend moved quickly toward the north-northeast and it was located over the southeast U.S. on Monday morning. The center of the disturbance made landfall on the northern Gulf Coast on Sunday night near Pensacola, Florida. The disturbance was dropping locally heavy rain over parts of Alabama and western Georgia on Monday morning. The disturbance will move quickly toward the north-northeast and it will merge with a cold front over the southeastern U.S. Locally heavy rain will spread over eastern Tennessee, western South Carolina, western North Carolina, eastern Kentucky, western Virginia and West Virginia. Heavy rain could cause flash floods in some locations.

Tropical Depression Ida Brings Rain and Storms to Southeast U.S.

Tropical Depression Ida brought rain and thunderstorms to the southeast U.S. on Monday. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Depression Ida was located at latitude 32.6°N and longitude 90.3°W which put it about 20 miles (30 km) north-northwest of Jackson, Mississippi. Ida was moving toward the north-northeast at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 999 mb.

Former Hurricane Ida weakened to a tropical depression over Mississippi on Monday afternoon. Even though the speed of the wind circulating around Ida decreased, Tropical Depression Ida was still dropping locally heavy rain and generating a few tornadoes over the southeast U.S. Thunderstorms in bands on the eastern side of Ida were dropping locally heavy rain over parts of Mississippi, Alabama, northwest Florida and northwestern Georgia. Flash Flood Watches were in effect for all of those places. Tornadoes were reported in southeastern Mississippi, and southwestern and central Alabama.

Electricity was still out in all of New Orleans. Southerly winds blowing around the eastern side of Tropical Depression Ida’s circulation were still pushing water toward the coast. Those winds were blowing to near tropical storm force in some locations. A weather station at Fort Morgan, Alabama was reporting a sustained wind speed of 38 m.p.h. (61 km/h) and a wind gust of 47 m.p.h. (76 km/h). The water levels had decreased along the coast, but the persistent southerly winds were preventing the water levels from returning to normal. The water levels should continue to decrease when Tropical Depression Ida moves farther away from the coast.

Tropical Depression Ida will move northeast during the next 72 hours. The center of Ida will cross Tennessee on Tuesday. Ida could be over West Virginia on Wednesday and it could reach the east coast of the U.S. on Thursday. Tropical Depression Ida will continue to drop locally heavy rain over the eastern U.S. The circulation around Ida will interact with a cold front moving slowly south toward the Ohio River. The interaction between Ida and the cold front could enhance rainfall over the Tennessee and Ohio River Valleys. Flash Flood Watches are in effect across the region from Tennessee to New Jersey.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Julian made a transition to an extratropical cyclone west of the Azores on Monday morning and Tropical Storm Kate developed east-northeast of the Leeward Islands. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Ida was located at latitude 22.7°N and longitude 50.9°W which put it about 805 miles (1295 km) east-northeast of the Leeward Islands. Kate was moving toward the north at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.

Hurricane Ida Knocks Out Power in New Orleans

Strong winds in Hurricane Ida knocked out power to New Orleans on Sunday night. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Hurricane Ida was located at latitude 30.7°N and longitude 90.7°W which put it about 40 miles (65 km) west-northwest of New Orleans, Louisiana. Ida was moving toward the north-northwest at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 105 m.p.h. (165 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 125 m.p.h. (200 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 953 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Mouth of the Pearl River. The Hurricane Warning included New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the portions of the coast from Intracoastal City to Morgan City, Louisiana and from the Mouth of the Pearl River to the Alabama/Florida Line.

There were reports Hurricane Ida had damaged transmission lines that deliver electricity to New Orleans and that power was out in all of New Orleans and Orleans parish. There were also reports of widespread power outages in other parts of southeast Louisiana. A weather station at Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans recently reported a sustained wind speed of 64 m.p.h. (104 km/h) and a wind gust of 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h). Heavy rain was causing flash floods in southeastern Louisiana. Flash Flood Emergencies were in effect for Laplace and the South Shore area of Metropolitan New Orleans. Strong southeasterly winds on the eastern side of Hurricane Ida were still blowing water toward the coast. Storm surges were still occurring in southeastern Louisiana and along the coast of Mississippi. A Storm Surge Warning was in effect for the coast from Morgan City, Louisiana to to the Alabama/Florida border. The Storm Surge Warning includes Lake Borgne, Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas and Mobile Bay.

Hurricane Ida will move slowly toward the north during the next 12 hours. The center of Ida will pass east of Baton Rouge. Hurricane Ida will weaken gradually as it moves farther inland. Ida will move northeast over Mississippi on Monday. Hurricane Ida will continue to drop locally heavy rain over eastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi, during the overnight hours. Heavy rain will spread over the rest of Mississippi, western Alabama and southwestern Tennessee on Monday. Flash Flood Watches have been issued for those locations. Ida will be over Tennessee on Tuesday and it will bring rain to the Tennessee River Valley and the Ohio River Valley.

Powerful Hurricane Ida Hits Southeast Louisiana

Powerful Hurricane Ida hit southeast Louisiana on Sunday. At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Hurricane Ida was located at latitude 29.2°N and longitude 90.3°W which put it about 35 miles (55 km) southeast of Houma, Louisiana. Ida was moving toward the northwest at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 150 m.p.h. (240 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 180 m.p.h. (290 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 930 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Intracoastal City, Louisiana to the Mouth of the Pearl River. The Hurricane Warning included New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the portions of the coast from Cameron, Louisiana to Intracoastal City and from the Mouth of the Pearl River to the Alabama/Florida Line.

According to the National Hurricane Center the center of Hurricane Ida made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana. That location was about 60 miles (95 km) south of New Orleans, about 15 miles southwest of Grand Isle, and about 45 miles southeast of Houma. Ida rapidly intensified to Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale as it approached the coast. The maximum sustained wind speed was 150 m.p.h. (240 km/h) at the time of landfall. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Ida was 31.5. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 15.3 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 46.8. Hurricane Ida was as intense as Hurricane Laura was in 2020. Ida was a little smaller than Laura was.

A weather station at Southwest Pass with an anemometer 125 feet (38 meters) above the station measured a sustained wind speed of 105 m.p.h. (169 km/h) and a wind gust of 121 m.p.h. (195 km/h). A weather station at Pilot’s Station with an anemometer 20 meters above the surface measured a sustained wind speed of 106 m.p.h. (170 km/h) and a wind gust of 128 m.p.h. (205 km/h). Southeasterly winds blowing around the eastern side of Hurricane Ida were pushing water toward the coast. Gauges at Shell Beach, Louisiana and the Waveland Mississippi Yacht Club both measured water level rises of approximately 7 feet (2 meters). Widespread power outages were reported around New Orleans.

Hurricane Ida will move slowly inland during the rest of Sunday. Ida will weaken gradually because it will be moving over a relatively flat surface that includes marshes and bayous. The center of Hurricane Ida will be near Houma, Louisiana in a few hours. Strong southeasterly winds will continue to push water toward the coast and the storm surge will continue until Hurricane Ida moves farther inland and weakens. A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from Intracoastal City, Louisiana to the Alabama/Florida border. The Storm Surge Warning includes Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, Lake Borgne and Mobile Bay. Ida will pass near Baton Rouge on Sunday night. Hurricane Ida could produce hurricane force wind gusts near New Orleans and Baton Rouge. More widespread power outages could occur over southeast Louisiana. Ida will move northeast over Mississippi on Monday. It will drop locally heavy rain over eastern Louisiana, Mississippi, western Alabama and southwestern Tennessee. Flash Flood Watches have been issued for those locations.

Tropical Storm Fred Makes Landfall in Northwest Florida

Tropical Storm Fred made landfall on the coast of Northwest Florida near Cape San Blas on Monday afternoon. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Fred was located at latitude 29.9°N and longitude 85.3°W which put it about 25 miles (40 km) northwest of Apalachicola Florida. Fred was moving toward the north-northeast at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 995 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from the Okaloosa/Walton County Line to the Stienhatchee River, Florida.

The National Hurricane Center stated that Tropical Storm Fred made landfall on the coast of Northwest Florida near Cape San Blas, which is about 25 miles (40 km) west of Apalachicola. The maximum sustained wind speed at the time of landfall was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and the minimum surface pressure was 994 mb. Fred was dropping heavy rain over parts of northwest Florida and southeast Alabama. There were reports of flash floods in some locations. Tropical Storm Fred was also causing a storm surge along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico where the wind was pushing the water toward the shore. A Storm Surge Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Indian Pass to Yankeetown, Florida.

Tropical Storm Fred will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure over the Atlantic Ocean. The high will steer Fred toward the north-northeast during the next 36 hours. On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Fred will be over northern Georgia on Tuesday afternoon. Fred could be over West Virginia by Wednesday. Tropical Storm Fred will weaken steadily as it moves farther inland. However, Fred will move through a very moist environment and it will drop heavy rain over parts of the southeastern U.S. Rain will spread over western Georgia on Monday evening. Flash Flood Watches have been issued for parts of northwest Florida, southeast Alabama, western and northern Georgia, southeastern Tennessee and western North Carolina. Tropical Storm Fred could also cause sporadic power outages as it moves inland.

Elsewhere, Tropical Depression Grace was dropping heavy rain on parts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and former Tropical Depression Eight strengthened to Tropical Storm Henri southeast of Bermuda.

At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Depression Grace was located at latitude 17.9°N and longitude 72.4°W which put it about 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Port Au Prince, Haiti. Grace was moving toward the west-northwest at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1007 mb. Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the Cayman Islands and the Cuban provinces of Santiago de Cuba, Granma, Las Tunas and Camaguey. Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for the entire coast of Haiti and for Jamaica. Tropical Storm Watches were also in effect for the Cuban provinces of Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Cinefuegos, Matanzas and Isla de la Juventud.

At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Henri was located at latitude 31.0°N and longitude 62.9°W which put it about 145 miles (2305 km) southeast of Bermuda. Henri was moving toward the south-southwest at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1010 mb. A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for Bermuda.

Hurricane Zeta Hits New Orleans

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.

Hurricane Zeta Strengthens to Cat. 2

Hurricane Zeta strengthened to Category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale as it neared southeast Louisiana on Wednesday afternoon. At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Hurricane Zeta was located at latitude 27.9°N and longitude 91.1°W which put it about 155 miles (255 km) south-southwest of New Orleans, Louisiana. Zeta was moving toward the north-northeast at 20 m.p.h. (32 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 975 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Mississippi/Alabama border. The Hurricane Warning included New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. 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.

A U.S. Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter plane found that Hurricane Zeta was continuing to intensify on Wednesday. There was a a circular eye with a diameter of 30 miles (50 km) at the center of Zeta. A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Storms near the core of Hurricane Zeta generated upper level divergence which pumped mass away to the north of the hurricane. Winds to hurricane force were occurring mainly in the eastern side of Zeta. Winds in the western side of the circulation were blowing at less than hurricane force.

Winds to hurricane force extended out 35 miles (55 km) on the eastern side of Hurricane Zeta. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 150 miles (240 km) from the center. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Zeta was 16.5. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 8.7 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 25.2. Hurricane Zeta was capable of causing localized serious damage.

Hurricane Zeta could strengthen a little more before it makes landfall. Zeta will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 26°C. An upper level trough over the south central U.S. will produce southwesterly winds which will blow toward the top of Hurricane Zeta. Those winds will cause more vertical wind shear and Zeta could start to weaken just before it makes landfall. However, Zeta will be moving fairly quickly and it may not weaken much before it reaches the Gulf Coast.

The upper level trough will steer Hurricane Zeta toward the north-northeast during the next few hours. Zeta is likely to make landfall near Grand Isle, Louisiana. The center of Hurricane Zeta will pass very close to New Orleans and that city could experience hurricane force winds. The strongest winds will be on the eastern side of Zeta, which could also bring hurricane force winds to the coast of Mississippi. Places west of Grand Isle will experience weaker winds. Winds blowing water toward the coast could cause a storm surge of up to 8 to 12 feet (2.5 to 4 meters) along the coast of Mississippi.

Hurricane Zeta will weaken when it moves inland. Zeta will be strong enough to cause widespread power outages in southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, and central and southern Alabama. Zeta will also drop locally heavy rain over parts of the southeastern U.S. Flash Flood Watches extend from southeastern Louisiana to northern Georgia, western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee.

Zeta Strengthens Back to a Hurricane

Zeta strengthened back to a hurricane on Tuesday night. At 8:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Storm Zeta was located at latitude 26.0°N and longitude 91.7°W which put it about 295 miles (470 km) south-southwest of New Orleans, Louisiana. Zeta was moving toward the north at 17 m.p.h. (28 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 110 m.p.h. (175 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 978 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Mississippi/Alabama border. The Hurricane Warning included New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. 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. A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Intracoastal City to Morgan City, Louisiana.

After weakening to a tropical storm when it passed over the Yucatan Peninsula on Tuesday morning, Zeta intensified back to a hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday night. A circular eye with a diameter of 30 miles (50 km) developed at the center of the eye. The ring of thunderstorms around the eye strengthened during the night and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Storms near the core of Hurricane Zeta generated upper level divergence which pumped mass away to the north of the hurricane. Winds to hurricane force were occurring mainly in the eastern side of Zeta. Winds in the western side of the circulation were blowing at less than hurricane force.

Winds to hurricane force extended out 35 miles (55 km) on the eastern side of Hurricane Zeta. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 150 miles (240 km) from the center. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Zeta was 13.9. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 8.7 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 22.6. Hurricane Zeta was capable of causing localized serious damage.

Hurricane Zeta will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next few hours. Zeta will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C when it reaches the Gulf.  It will be under the western part of an upper level ridge where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Zeta is likely to intensify further during the next few hours and it could strengthen to Category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. An upper level trough over the south central U.S. will produce southwesterly winds which will blow toward the top of Hurricane Zeta later today. Those winds will cause more vertical wind shear and Zeta could weaken when it moves over the northern Gulf of Mexico. However, Zeta will be moving more quickly at that time and it may not weaken much before it reaches the Gulf Coast.

The upper level trough is likely to steer Hurricane Zeta toward the northeast as it approaches the Gulf Coast. Zeta could approach the coast of southeast Louisiana on Wednesday afternoon. Hurricane Zeta is likely to make landfall near Grand Isle, Louisiana. The center of Hurricane Zeta will pass very close to New Orleans and that city could experience hurricane force winds. The strongest winds will be on the eastern side of Zeta, which could also bring hurricane force winds to the coast of Mississippi. Places west of Grand Isle will experience weaker winds. Winds blowing water toward the coast could cause a storm surge of up to 8 to 12 feet (2.5 to 4 meters) along the coast of Mississippi.

Hurricane Zeta will weaken when it moves inland. Zeta will be strong enough to cause widespread power outages in southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, and central and southern Alabama. Zeta will also drop locally heavy rain over parts of the southeastern U.S. Flash Flood Watches extend from southeastern Louisiana to northern Georgia, western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee.