LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - With Tropical Storm Zeta approaching hurricane strength as of the 10:00 AM Monday advisory, winds up to 70 mph are a sign the storm continues to strengthen as it approaches the Yucatan Peninsula later today. After that, the storm will enter the Gulf with a northern Gulf Coast landfall is likely on Wednesday. The threat to Southwest Louisiana continues to remain minimal as the track to our east is still expected.
This will be a very one-sided storm, with impacts along and east of the center. Even if the storm tracks a little farther west and makes a landfall along south-central Louisiana, impacts for our area would continue to stay very minimal. The most likely scenario would be landfall well to our east thanks to a trough of low pressure and approaching cold front. This front will time out to quickly move Zeta inland and off to the east Wednesday.
The chance of tropical storm force winds is very low and there would be no threat of any storm surge or other impacts that would be associated with a tropical system with a landfall to our east. That said, there will be a cold front moving through Wednesday, so our rain chances will go up, with the best chance of rain through the day Wednesday into Wednesday night. By Thursday, conditions will quickly improve through the day.
This front will bring a big cool down to the area by Thursday and Friday with highs in the 60s and lows in the upper 40s into the holiday weekend. Great weather continues for those out trick-or-treating with a beautiful weekend ahead with highs in the upper 60s to lower 70s and lows in the upper 40s to near 50 through the upcoming weekend.
While our anxiety is high due to another storm entering the Gulf this week, and understandably so, there simply does not appear to be a formidable threat to our area with Zeta, but we will certainly continue to track this storm closely. If anything changes, we’ll be the first to let you know. We’re expecting a landfall sometime Wednesday afternoon or evening which is just over 48 hours from now, so confidence will continue to increase over the next 24 hours once the storm enters the Gulf. For now, we’ll monitor and stay prepared just in case!
First Alert Meteorologist Ben Terry