Baton Rouge, LA (STL.News) Governor John Bel Edwards is urging all Louisianans to monitor Tropical Storm Zeta as it moves into the Gulf of Mexico over the next few days. It is too early to know the exact path of Zeta, but the current tracking cone does include Southeast Louisiana and the forecast shows Zeta becoming a hurricane before landfall.
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) has activated its Crisis Action Team and is monitoring the forecast. This afternoon, the Governor and GOHSEP will begin calls with the National Weather Service and parish emergency managers.
“It is unfortunate we face another tropical threat this late in a very active season,” said Gov. Edwards. “We must roll up our sleeves, like we always do, and prepare for a potential impact to Louisiana. This storm is expected to make landfall somewhere on the Gulf Coast by midweek, meaning we have a few days to prepare. As we’ve seen this hurricane season, a tropical threat during the ongoing COVID-19 emergency is challenging, but something we can handle. We will once again find solutions for this potential threat while work to help the other areas of the state impacted by Hurricanes Laura and Delta. If Tropical Storm Zeta does become a serious threat, we stand ready to ramp up our actions as a state to meet the needs of our people and communities.”
Here is the latest from the National Hurricane Center (NHC):
At 10 a.m. Louisiana time, the center of Tropical Storm Zeta was located near latitude 17.8 North, longitude 83.8 West. Zeta is nearly stationary, but a generally northwestward motion is expected over the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the center of Zeta will pass south of western Cuba early Monday and move near or over the northern Yucatan Peninsula or the Yucatan Channel late Monday, move into the southern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, and reach the central Gulf of Mexico by late Tuesday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Zeta could become a hurricane by the time it moves near or over the Yucatan Peninsula late Monday.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1005 mb (29.68 inches).
GOHSEP urges everyone to stay weather aware by monitoring the NHC, your local National Weather Service office, your local media and any information issued by your local emergency managers and first responders. If you are traveling in areas inside the state or outside the state impacted by this system, carefully check your routes. If flooding does become a factor, most problems occur when people attempt to drive on water covered roadways. Turn Around, Don’t Drown. Download the free ALERT FM App for local and state alerts.
Also, check your emergency supplies to make sure you and your family are ready. Remember to replace any items you may have used this busy hurricane season.