SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - It has been an wild year for everything this year including tropical cyclones. We have seen 26 named storms and an amazing 11 hurricanes. We have also had 11 named storms make landfall into the the continental U.S.
But the most wild thing about all the storms this year is that the majority of storms that hit the United States have hit the northern Gulf coast states. And now another is on the way toward that same area. Zeta is expected to cross the Yucatan early Tuesday morning bringing heavy rain and wind gusts up to 100 mph.
It will move to the NW on Tuesday and then start to track toward SE Louisiana on Wednesday making landfall sometime late Wednesday evening as a cat. 1 hurricane and moving right over New Orleans it looks like now. It won’t have a chance to rapidly intensify as water temperatures are marginal over the N. Gulf of Mexico and there is some dry air that will be entrained into the system prior to landfall.
This kind of storm will not cause major structural damage but will cause considerable power outages through SE LA and south MS and AL late Wednesday and early Thursday morning. It will also bring life threatening storm surge to SE LA all the way over to Alabama. The record for the number of named storms since the late 50′s is in 2005 when there were 28 named storms. During that year we were not impacted by a single storm that year. So far this season we have not had a tropical storm or hurricane watch or warning issued for our coast during this extreme hurricane season.
Things have been hot here as a result of a large area of high pressure over Florida. This same high pressure will keep Zeta away from SW Florida and steer it toward LA will also keep our winds on a ESE pattern which will cause temperatures to soar into the upper 80′s to low 90′s through Thursday. We will see “feels like” temperatures in the upper 90′s to near 100 degrees in the mid afternoon hours.
A weak cold front will be pushed our way as Zeta exits out over the mid Atlantic coast states. This front will be not all that cold however, in fact temperatures will still be slightly above average over the weekend.
We will see lower humidity as winds will switch around to the north to northwest on Saturday and Sunday. So we have that going for us. No need to break out the jackets quite yet.
Tuesday look for some patchy fog to start the day and then burn off quickly and mostly sunny skies can be expected through early afternoon. Skies will begin to cloud up a bit by mid afternoon with a good chance for a few scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms through the early evening once again.
Expect more of the same through Thursday with a slight chance for late day storms.
Friday the weak cold front moves through along with a 30% chance for a few showers and highs in the mid 80′s.
For boaters expect winds out of the SE at 15 knots to start the day subsiding to 5-10 knots late in the afternoon. Seas will be 2 to 3 feet with a moderate chop on the waters.