BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Tropical Storm Zeta continues to garner a lot of attention along the North Central Gulf Coast. The storm is currently located in the Central Caribbean, but is forecast to move into the Gulf of Mexico by Tuesday as a Category 1 Hurricane. Until then expect quiet weather to be the rule for Southeast Louisiana.
Clouds will hang around for the next few days, but we stay mainly dry. Temperatures will be below normal today before rising above normal Monday thanks to a return of southerly flow.
As Zeta approaches Tuesday into Wednesday morning, outer rain bands will begin to impact the local area. Within these rain bands will be brief heavy downpours and some strong gusty winds. The official National Hurricane Center forecast track keeps the worst of Zeta to our east.
The local area is still within the cone of uncertainty so we can’t lower our guard yet. The hurricane experts at the NHC stress at this point the forecast for Zeta is low confidence. That’s because there will be a lot of atmospheric moving parts that eventually steer Zeta on its final course.
If the current forecast path where to hold true, local impacts would be manageable. Zeta is forecast to weaken below hurricane strength prior to landfall. The main concern with the current track is storm surge along the coast and within the tidal lakes.
Rainfall amounts will be a bit tricky as we have the storm itself and a cold front shortly following. For now, reasonable expectations are rainfall totals between 1-2″ which would be manageable.
Strong wind could cause some sporadic power outages. Widespread powers outages will likely take place further east of main circulation of Zeta as it is forecast to be a lop-sided sheared Tropical Storm at landfall.
Once the trailing cold front passes through the area late Wednesday into Thursday morning, the local weather will begin to improve. Cooler than normal temperatures will be enjoyed through the Halloween weekend. Trick or Treat temperatures will be in the mid to low 60°s.
Don’t forget to turn clocks back one hour Saturday night into Sunday morning. The Louisiana law keeping the state in Daylight Saving Time has not taken affect yet.
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