Hurricane Hunters have determined that Tropical Storm Zeta has now strengthened into Hurricane Zeta, with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. Further strengthening is possible before the storm makes landfall near Cancun later tonight. The hurricane should remain a cat 1.
The storm will then move into the southern Gulf and move toward the northern Gulf Coast. The hurricane should make landfall along the southeast coast of Louisiana as a cat 1 hurricane Wednesday evening. This will be the fifth named storm to impact that state this season.
The storm will then race northeastward, passing directly over Birmingham and then Atlanta (or at least nearby these cities). That keeps the storm’s center south of our area, which also keeps the heaviest rain and strongest storms south of our area. That is good news! We still, however, have a strong storm system approaching from the west for Wednesday – Thursday that will offer plenty of rain chances. Widespread 1-2 inch amounts of rainfall are likely across the plateau from Wednesday to Thursday.
We could still see a strong storm or two, but severe weather is looking unlikely. I’ll keep an eye on that, though.
Pictured below is the current infrared satellite view of Hurricane Zeta.