HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Hurricane Zeta continues its trek through the Gulf of Mexico as a category 1 hurricane. Zeta currently holds maximum sustained winds of 90 mph and will continue its northward track moving just a little under 20 mph.
Zeta will make landfall later this afternoon as a category 1 hurricane along the eastern coast of Louisiana. A life-threatening storm surge is expected along portions of the northern Gulf Coast beginning later today, with the highest inundation occurring between Port Fourchon, Louisiana, and Dauphin Island, Alabama. Residents in the Storm Surge Warning area should follow any advice given by local officials. Overtopping of local, non-federal levee systems is possible within southeastern Louisiana outside of the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System.
Hurricane conditions are expected this afternoon and evening within portions of the Hurricane Warning area along the southeastern Louisiana and Mississippi Coasts. Tropical storm conditions are expected within portions of the Tropical Storm Warning area along the Alabama and far western Florida Panhandle coasts.
A wind advisory will go into effect tonight at 9 PM and will last through noon tomorrow. This goes for Cullman, Marshall, DeKalb, and Jackson counties. Sustained winds of 15-25 mph is to be expected as well as wind gusts up to 45 mph.
Strong, damaging wind gusts, which could cause tree damage and power outages, will spread well inland across portions of southeastern Mississippi, Alabama, and northern Georgia, the Carolinas, and southeastern Virginia tonight through Thursday due to Zeta's fast forward speed. Wind gusts could be especially severe across the southern Appalachian Mountains on Thursday.
Through Thursday, heavy rainfall is expected from portions of the central U.S. Gulf Coast into the Mid-Mississippi Valley, Ohio Valley, Tennessee Valley, southern to central Appalachians, and Mid-Atlantic States near and in advance of Zeta. This rainfall will lead to flash, urban, small stream, and minor river flooding.