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Tropical Storm Zeta

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I know this is about two weeks away but there may be another hurricane that may effect Florida the last week of the month. It will need to be watched. 

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This is the system I was talking about  last week. The system has started to come together. It is now Invest 95L.  It could become a hurricane next week. Those along the entirety of the Gulf Coast should pay attention to this storm. 

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2 pm EDT update:

 

The National Hurricane Center has increased the chance of Invest 95L becoming a tropical depression over the next day or two.

 

 Satellite images and radar data indicate that the broad area of low 
pressure located just west of Grand Cayman Island is gradually 
becoming better defined.  Environmental conditions appear conducive 
for further development, and a tropical depression will likely form 
during the next day or two while the low drifts toward the 
northwest. The system could move near western Cuba by Sunday and 
move slowly across the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by early next 
week. Interests in western Cuba, the Florida Keys, and southern 
Florida should monitor the progress of this disturbance. Regardless 
of development, locally heavy rainfall will be possible over 
portions of the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Cuba, southern Florida, 
the Florida Keys, and the northwestern Bahamas through the weekend.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...high...70 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...70 percent.

 

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Just got my new cordless hammer drill in week before last. Getting ready for Irma took out my old one. Went with Dewalt this time. I still need a dolly and a way to hold the plywood in place by myself, but I should be good to go. 

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Saturday morning update:

The track cone has shifted to a more westerly track. This will change as we get closer to possible landfall. All those with interests along the shores of Gulf of Mexico from Louisiana to Florida should monitor this system.

1. Satellite and surface observations indicate that a broad area of low 
pressure has redeveloped just south of Grand Cayman Island.  Shower 
and thunderstorm activity continues to increase in organization,  
and environmental conditions are expected to remain conducive for 
further development. A tropical depression will likely form during 
the next day or two while the low drifts toward the northwest or 
north.  The system could move near western Cuba by Sunday and move 
slowly across the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by early next week.  
Interests in western Cuba, the Florida Keys, and southern Florida 
should monitor the progress of this disturbance.  Regardless of 
development, locally heavy rainfall will be possible over portions 
of the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Cuba, southern Florida, the Florida 
Keys, and the northwestern Bahamas through the weekend and into 
early next week.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...high...80 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...90 percent.

 

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Saturday evening update:

 

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Invest 95L chances of becoming a tropical storm have been increase to 100% in about 48 hours. It may become a tropical storm some time on Sunday. If intensification continues it could reach category 1 hurricane status by sometime on Tuesday.

The track cone has narrowed some since this morning and shifted towards the rest. Now things could change as landfall is not expected until around Thursday. The cone now is from around eastern Louisiana to the panhandle of Florida. Also depending on the exact track Kentucky could feel some impact from this system.

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Now this simulation is from the new GFSv16. It is the upcoming upgrade to the GFS model. It is not operational yet but it is an improvement to the GFS model that the National Weather Service uses for mid range weather forecasting. GFS stands for Global Forecast System. I believe it will go operational in February 2021.  It really shows this system well. Better than the GFS.

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As always the track could change as we are about a week away from landfall. Those In Florida shouldn't let their guard down and monitor this system as we progress through next week.
 

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Sunday morning update:

 

As expected Invest 95L has strengthen into a tropical storm. It is now Tropical Storm Zeta.

At 500 AM EDT (0900 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Zeta was
located a NOAA reconnaissance aircraft near latitude 17.7 North,
longitude 83.6 West. Zeta is currently stationary and is continuing
to re-organize. However, a slow north-northwestward to northwestward
motion is expected to resume later today. A turn toward the
west-northwest and an increase in forward speed are forecast by
Monday, followed by a faster northwestward motion on Tuesday. On the
forecast track, the center of Zeta will pass south of western Cuba
early Monday and move near or over the northern Yucatan Peninsula or
Yucatan Channel late Monday, move into the southern Gulf of Mexico
on Tuesday, and reach the central Gulf of Mexico by late Tuesday.

Data from the aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds are
near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is
expected during the next 48 to 72 hours, and Zeta is forecast to
become a hurricane by early Tuesday.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km),
mainly southeast of the center.

The estimated minimum central pressure based on reports from the
NOAA aircraft is 1005 mb (29.68 inches).
 

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Sunday evening update:

Tropical Storm Zeta is forecast to become a hurricane within the next 24hrs. It could even reach category 2 status before landfall. Landfall is predicted to be late on Wednesday. The cone track has narrowed so we are getting a good sense on the track it could take. Right now it looks like most of Florida will be missed. Once again Louisiana could be under the gun. Those from the central coast of Louisiana to the  western portions of the Florida pan handle could see Zeta landfall. Of course the effects will range out far from the center of Zeta.

 

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This is what the GFS is showing.

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Monday morning update:

BULLETIN
Tropical Storm Zeta Advisory Number   7
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL282020
500 AM EDT Mon Oct 26 2020

...NOAA HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT FINDS ZETA RAPIDLY
STRENGTHENING...
...HURRICANE CONDITIONS AND STORM SURGE EXPECTED ACROSS
PORTIONS OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA BY LATE TODAY...

At 500 AM EDT (0900 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Zeta was
located by a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft near latitude 18.7 
North, longitude 84.3 West. Zeta is moving toward the northwest 
near 9 mph (15 km/h).  A northwestward motion with an increase in 
forward speed is expected over the day or so, followed by a turn 
toward the north Tuesday night. A faster northward to 
north-northeastward motion is forecast on Wednesday.   On the 
forecast track, the center of Zeta will move near or over the 
northern Yucatan Peninsula later today or tonight, move over the 
southern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, and approach the northern Gulf 
Coast on Wednesday.

Data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum 
sustained winds have increased to near 70 mph (110 km/h) with higher 
gusts.  Strengthening is forecast, and Zeta is expected to become a 
hurricane later this morning.  Additional strengthening is expected 
before Zeta moves over the Yucatan Peninsula.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km)
from the center.

The latest minimum central pressure estimated from NOAA 
reconnaissance aircraft data is 990 mb (29.24 inches).

 

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Kentucky could receive some good rainfall totals from Zeta. The Weather Prediction Center has Kentucky under a marginal chance for excessive rainfall that could cause flash flooding from Wednesday morning through Thursday.

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Monday evening update:

 

Zeta is now a category 1 hurricane. 

BULLETIN
Hurricane Zeta Advisory Number   9
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL282020
400 PM CDT Mon Oct 26 2020

...ZETA EXPECTED TO BRING HURRICANE CONDITIONS AND A DANGEROUS STORM 
SURGE TO PORTIONS OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA...
...HURRICANE AND STORM SURGE WATCHES ISSUED FOR THE NORTHERN GULF 
COAST...

At 400 PM CDT (2100 UTC), the center of Hurricane Zeta was located
near latitude 19.5 North, longitude 86.0 West.  Zeta is moving
toward the northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h).  A northwestward motion
with some increase in forward speed is expected over the next day or
so, followed by a turn toward the north Tuesday night. A faster
northward to north-northeastward motion is forecast on Wednesday. On
the forecast track, the center of Zeta will move over the northern
Yucatan Peninsula later today or tonight, move over the southern
Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, and approach the northern Gulf Coast in 
the watch area on Wednesday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 80 mph (130 km/h) with higher 
gusts.  Some additional strengthening is possible before Zeta makes
landfall in the Yucatan Peninsula.  Some weakening is likely while
Zeta moves over the Yucatan Peninsula late tonight and early
Tuesday.  Zeta is forecast to strengthen again when it moves over
the southern Gulf of Mexico later on Tuesday and be at or near 
hurricane strength when it approaches the northern Gulf Coast on 
Wednesday. 

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the
center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles
(185 km).
 

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The cloud pattern of Zeta became better organized today, with deep convection forming over and around the center and some banding features developing.  The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters recently found surface winds to near 70 kt over the inner 
northeastern quadrant of the circulation and a central pressure of around 981 mb, signifying that the system had become a hurricane. Given the increased organization over very warm waters, some additional strengthening is possible before the center crosses the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula this evening.  Some weakening 
should occur while Zeta interacts with land tonight and early Tuesday.  Once the center moves into the southern Gulf of Mexico tomorrow, atmospheric and oceanic conditions are conducive for some re-strengthening.  When Zeta moves over the northern Gulf of Mexico later on Wednesday, cooler shelf waters and some increase in southwesterly shear should halt the intensification process, with some weakening possible by the time the center reaches the northern Gulf Coast, but Zeta is still expected to be at or near hurricane intensity at landfall. The NHC intensity forecast is similar to the previous one and is near or above the model consensus.
 

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Tuesday morning update:

Zeta has been downgraded to a tropical storm but should restrengthen to a hurricane within the next 24 hrs. 

At 400 AM CDT (0900 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Zeta was 
located over the northern Yucatan Peninsula near latitude 21.0 
North, longitude 88.4 West. Zeta is moving toward the northwest near 
14 mph (22 km/h), and this general motion is forecast to continue 
today.  Zeta should turn toward the north tonight, and a faster 
northward to north-northeastward motion is expected on Wednesday.  
On the forecast track, the center of Zeta will move over the 
southern Gulf of Mexico later this morning, and over the central 
Gulf of Mexico tonight.  Zeta is forecast to approach the northern 
Gulf Coast on Wednesday, and make landfall within the hurricane 
warning area late Wednesday or Wednesday night. 

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 70 mph (110 km/h) 
with higher gusts.  Zeta is forecast to re-strengthen when it moves 
over the southern Gulf of Mexico later this morning, and become a 
hurricane again later today.  Zeta is forecast to be at or near 
hurricane strength when it approaches the northern Gulf Coast late 
Wednesday.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km)
from the center.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 984 mb (29.06 inches).

 

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Remnants of Zeta will cause problems for Kentucky starting late Wednesday evening. A possible 2-4 inches of rain could fall. Most of Kentucky could see some flash flooding. It appears portions of Northern Kentucky and most of Southern Ohio has the best potential to see some flash flooding. A possible 4-6 inches is forecast for those areas.

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Tuesday evening update:

Zeta should move over warm waters and through a moist, low-shear environment through tomorrow morning, so strengthening is anticipated, and the cyclone is likely to regain hurricane intensity within the next 6-12 hours. The NHC intensity forecast is on the high side of the model guidance suite. Zeta is expected to interact with a frontal zone and become an extratropical cyclone as it approaches the eastern United States in a couple of days. After moving off the U.S. east coast, the system is forecast to become absorbed by the same frontal system.

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KEY MESSAGES:

1. A life-threatening storm surge is expected along portions of the northern Gulf Coast by late Wednesday, with the highest inundation occurring somewhere between the Mouth of the Pearl River and Dauphin Island, Alabama. Residents in the Storm Surge Warning area should follow any advice given by local officials.

2. Hurricane conditions are expected by late Wednesday within portions of the Hurricane Warning area between Morgan City, Louisiana, and the Mississippi/Alabama border. Damaging winds, especially in gusts, will spread well inland across portions of southeast Mississippi and southern Alabama Wednesday night due to Zeta's fast forward speed.

3. Localized heavy rainfall from Zeta will continue tonight in portions of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and western Cuba where additional flash flooding is possible in urban areas. Tonight through Thursday heavy rainfall is expected from portions of the 
central U.S. Gulf Coast into the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic States. This rainfall will lead to flash, urban, small stream, and minor river flooding.
 

Visible satellite images show that the low-level center of the storm is slightly displaced to the north of the main area of deep convection.

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The rainfall from Zeta has the Weather Prediction Center placing portions of Kentucky along the Ohio River in a Slight Risk Area for flash flooding. Wide spread totals of 2-4 inches of rain will be possible. Portions of western Kentucky could see upwards of 5 inches before the rain moves out of Kentucky.

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Wednesday morning update:

Zeta as regained strength is now a cat. 1 Hurricane. It could reach category 2 status before landfall later this evening. The following are the Intensity chart and an infrared image of Zeta. Everyone can see it now how the eye has become well defined at the end of the run. This shows the rapid intensification of Zeta.

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Hurricane Zeta Advisory Number  15
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL282020
400 AM CDT Wed Oct 28 2020

...AIR FORCE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT REPORTS THAT ZETA IS
STRENGTHENING...
...LIFE-THREATENING STORM SURGE AND STRONG WINDS EXPECTED ALONG
PORTIONS OF THE NORTHERN GULF COAST BEGINNING AROUND MIDDAY...

At 400 AM CDT (0900 UTC), the center of Hurricane Zeta was located
near latitude 25.1 North, longitude 91.8 West. Zeta is moving toward
the north-northwest near 17 mph (28 km/h). A turn toward the north 
is expected soon, and a faster northward to north-northeastward
motion is expected to begin later this morning.  On the forecast 
track, the center of Zeta will approach the northern Gulf coast 
this morning and make landfall in southeastern Louisiana this 
afternoon.  Zeta will move close to the Mississippi coast this 
evening, and move across the southeastern and eastern United States 
on Thursday.

Data from an Air Force Hurricane Hunter Aircraft indicate 
that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 85 mph 
(140 km/h) with higher gusts. Some additional strengthening is 
forecast this morning, and Zeta is expected to reach the northern 
Gulf Coast as a hurricane before weakening over the southeastern 
United States on Thursday.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the
center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles
(240 km).

The latest minimum central pressure estimated from reconnaissance 
aircraft data is 982 mb (29.00 inches).

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Almost the entire state of Kentucky is now under a Slight Risk for excessive rainfall that could cause flash flooding. Most of Kentucky could receive 2-4 inches of precipitation. While a small section of western Kentucky could get 4-6 inches. Some along the Tennessee border could see some thunderstorms on Thursday.

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Here is what 4 different models are showing for rain accumulations.

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