We're keeping a close eye on Hurricane Zeta, which is expected to make landfall tonight and weaken as it races to the northeast.
Current projections have the storm hitting Louisiana's low-lying coastline, which has already weathered Hurricane Laura in August and Hurricane Delta earlier this month. This includes at Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas and Metropolitan New Orleans.
A wider part of the region is now expected to see some snowfall from a winterlike storm moving in from the Midwest that will combine forces with the remnants of Hurricane Zeta.
Zeta formed last Monday when it headed to the Yucatan Peninsula.
Under the Ports and Waterways Safety Act, the captain of the port (COTP) at each location may close portions of the port in response to any changes in Zeta's forecast track and/or intensity.
If Zeta strikes Louisiana, it would be the fifth named storm to do so this season - setting a record for the state.
Restaurant workers board up windows on Tuesday as they prepare for the arrival of Zeta in New Orleans
The storm surge, a wall of water that hurricanes drive onto land, could hit 9 feet (2.7 meters) in areas between the Pearl River in Louisiana to Dauphin Island, Alabama, the hurricane center said. As well, if it does makes landfall onto the U.S. Gulf Coast as predicted, it will be the 11th named storm in 2020 to do so, tying a record. Forecasters predict it will come back to hurricane strength while rapidly approaching the Gulf Coast.
The latest projected path for Zeta, released Wednesday morning, is shown in the third image above.
It's important to note that by the time Zeta gets to our area, it will lose a lot of its "tropical characteristics". Rainfall totals of two to four inches with isolated amounts of six inches are expected across these areas. Peak wind gusts of 80 to 100 miles per hour will be possible Wednesday evening. While this storm is not expected to have an impact as large as storms we've seen move through the Gulf earlier this year, we want to be in the best place possible to respond to anticipated rain, storm surge and mass power outage.
Hurricane warnings have been announced for the areas of Assumption, Ascension, Livingston, Tangipahoa, and St. James Parishes. And tropical storm warnings are in effect from the Mississippi/Alabama border to Okaloosa/Walton County Line, Florida.
Either way, the stage is set Friday night for the coldest air of the season so far.
Zeta is the 11th named storm of the year to make a USA landfall and will be the seventh named storm this year to affect energy producers along the Gulf Coast.
54 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County Monday
State officials report there are 4,982 operational ventilators in the state, with 1,112 (22.3%) now in use for all illnesses. The state agency also reported Saturday 35 more deaths from COVID-19, raising Michigan's pandemic toll to 7,182 deaths.