The following information was provided by the National Hurricane Center:
Conditions deteriorating along portions of the northern gulf coast. Life-threatening storm surge and damaging winds likely in the warning areas later today.
LOCATION: 26.9 N 91.7W about 220 miles southwest of the Mouth of the Mississippi River, about 235 miles south, southwest of New Orleans
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS: 90 mph
PRESENT MOVEMENT: Northwest at 18 mph
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE: 976 mb
DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK: At 10 a.m. CDT (1500 UTC), the center of Hurricane Zeta was located near latitude 26.9 North, longitude 91.7 West. Zeta is moving toward the north near 18 mph (30 km/h). A faster northward to north-northeastward motion is expected through tonight followed by an even faster northeastward motion on Thursday and an east-northeastward motion early Friday. On the forecast track, the center of Zeta will make landfall in southeastern Louisiana this afternoon. Zeta will then move close to the Mississippi coast this evening, and move across the southeastern and eastern United States on Thursday. Maximum sustained winds are near 90 mph (150 km/h) with higher gusts. Some additional strengthening is possible during the next few hours, 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 minimum central pressure estimated from Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft observations is 976 mb (28.82 inches).
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