Zeta makes landfall Wednesday as a strong Category 2 hurricane
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Officially, the Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1st and ends November 30th. Zeta is a perfect reminder that we’re not out of the woods just yet for 2020.
Last weekend, Zeta became the 27th storm of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season. This is only the second time we’ve reached the name Zeta on the Greek Alphabet List; the last time being the record year of 2005.
After making its first landfall as a Category 1 Hurricane along the Yucatan Peninsula Monday night, Zeta moved into the Gulf of Mexico. With its landfall, Zeta did weaken into a tropical storm, but re-strengthened quickly with its time back over warm ocean waters.
According to the National Hurricane Center’s Wednesday afternoon update, Zeta strengthened into a very strong Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 110 mph as it approached the Gulf Coast. The threshold for a Category 3 hurricane begins at 111 mph.
Zeta made landfall during the late afternoon hours Wednesday near Cocodrie, Louisiana. Its track will take it right over New Orleans Wednesday evening.
Storm surge is a concern along the Gulf Coast, as well as hurricane force winds. Spin-up tornadoes are also possible across the Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida Gulf coasts as the storm moves over land. Rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches, and isolated pockets of 6 inches, are possible in the Deep South, Ohio Valley, and Mid-Atlantic states.
Zeta is a fast moving storm. This means very strong winds will be felt well inland, before the storm has time to weaken. The heavy rain threat will keep moving north and east, with Zeta pushing out into the Atlantic Thursday.
With Zeta, 5 named storms have made landfall in Louisiana this year; a total of 11 named storms have made landfall in the United States this year.
Follow updates for Zeta from the National Hurricane Center here: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
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