The National Weather Service in Nashville has now issued a flash flood watch for the Cumberland Plateau from now until Thursday afternoon. A strong storm system moving in from the west and Hurricane Zeta moving north from the Gulf will combine to produce heavy rainfall across the area.
While widespread flooding is not expected, localized flash flooding could occur during heavier downpours. Be especially mindful of this if you must travel after dark tonight.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Zeta continues to gather strength in the Gulf. Maximum sustained winds are now at 105 mph. While additional strengthening is unlikely, it is not impossible. Zeta could make a stab at being a major hurricane at landfall, with winds greater than 111 mph. Again, that is unlikely, but not impossible. The storm is expected to make a direct impact to the city of New Orleans. Landfall is expected by sunset this evening, as the storm is now accelerating to the north, northeast.
The storm will bring widespread gusty winds to Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina. The rapid movement of the storm will lead to winds gusting to over 50 mph across those states. Widespread power outages are likely and this will also likely bring an end to fall foliage across the southern Appalachians.
We will see breezy conditions overnight and Thursday but we won’t see anything like folks to our south will. Our winds may gust as high as 20 mph.
I’ll keep a close on it all and let you know if there’s anything you need to know about. Again, be safe if you must be out tonight and watch for water on the roadways.