Hurricane Zeta, the 27th named storm of a very active Atlantic hurricane season, is aiming for the southeast Louisiana Coast Wednesday afternoon.
As of 0500 ET, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported Zeta is about 355 miles south-southwest of New Orleans, Lousiana, moving at about 15 mph, with sustained maximum winds of about 85 mph.
NHC expects a life-threatening storm surge for areas situated along the northern Gulf Coast by Wednesday afternoon, with the highest flooding around the Mouth of the Pearl River and Dauphin Island, Alabama.
Hurricane conditions are expected later today for "portions of the Hurricane Warning area between Morgan City, Louisiana, and the Mississippi/Alabama border," NHC said. Damaging winds and widespread power outages are likely for southeast Mississippi and southern and central Alabama as Zeta moves inland.
Torrential rainfall is expected for the central U.S. Gulf Coast into Tennessee Valley, Ohio Valley, Southern to Central Appalachians, and the Mid-Atlantic States through the end of this week.
#Zeta could produce flash flooding across portions of the central Gulf Coast, Ohio Valley, and Mid-Atlantic states through Thursday. @NWSWPC forecasts 2-4” of rain with isolated amounts of 6” in these areas. https://t.co/hRJDsnIXZi pic.twitter.com/jyDplXkCxR— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) October 27, 2020
Ahead of Zeta's arrival, a handful of energy companies began evacuation plans for workers at offshore rigs in the Gulf Of Mexico on Monday.
If Zeta makes landfall in Louisiana, it would be the fifth named storm this season, with the previous landfalls made by Cristobal, Laura, Marco, and Delta.