Zeta now forecast to be a category 2 Wednesday afternoon
MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - As of the 4 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Zeta now has winds of 85 mph. It is now forecast to reach winds of 100 mph by Wednesday afternoon, making it a category 2 hurricane. It is expected to weaken a bit before making landfall, but a dangerous situation is unfolding for southeastern Louisiana, the New Orleans area, and the western Mississippi Gulf Coast.
The center track from the NHC takes the storm right through the Butler-area. This means tropical storm-force winds are likely this evening for central and southern Choctaw County. Any shift in the track west would put more of our area under the threat of likely tropical storm-force winds. Any shift to the east in the track will mean less impacts for area. Let’s break down our impacts if the current track holds:
Choctaw County and far-southeastern Clarke County: Sustained winds between 30-50 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph. A 70 mph wind gust is unlikely, but cannot be completely ruled out.
Rest of Clarke County, Lauderdale County, Sumter County: Sustained winds between 15 and 35 mph, with gusts as high as 45 mph.
Elsewhere: Sustained winds between 15-25 mph, with wind gusts up to 30 mph.
1-4 inches of additional rainfall is expected through Thursday afternoon. An isolated tornado cannot be ruled out for Choctaw County, but chances are pretty low overall.
The main timing for greatest impacts will be between 9 p.m. Wednesday and 3 a.m. Thursday. This forecast is still subject to change, so be sure to keep up to date with the latest forecast. Even a shift in the track by 10 miles could make a big difference for our area.
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