LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Tropical Storm Zeta will make landfall later today along the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico in the northwestern Caribbean. As of the 10 a.m. update winds are at 70 mph with gust to 85 mph. Currently Zeta is less than 200 miles southeast of Cozumel Mexico as it moves to the NW at 10 mph.
Zeta is should become a hurricane before making its first landfall across the Yucatan Peninsula later today and maintain minimal hurricane status as it moves into the Gulf on Tuesday. Good news remains as the models are growing in confidence the storm will make a easterly and northeasterly turns as we head into Wednesday as it’s picked up by the cold front. The shear and cooler water temperatures will also allow the storm to weaken as it nears the coastline Wednesday afternoon. It is projected to make landfall in eastern Louisiana as a strong Tropical Storm or minimal category one hurricane by Wednesday afternoon.
An upper level trough is expected to push a cold front into the state Wednesday and this will be the steering mechanism for the storm. As of the latest advisory Southwest Louisiana remains outside the cone of uncertainty. Zeta will increase in speed as we head into Wednesday. Regardless we will be dealing with showers and storms with the cold front as the heaviest rain from Zeta will remain well east of Southwest Louisiana.
Rainfall totals will be on the lower side as well as we are looking at a quarter to half inch of rain possible in many locations with some localized heavier amounts. Overall, the news continues to look better and better for our area and just in time for Halloween sunshine looks to return and we can expect cooler temperatures behind the front.
At this time we should continue to closely watch Zeta as it enters the Gulf on Tuesday, but there is no need to be overly worried as trends continue to look good for Southwest Louisiana that the track stays east. As always, stay tuned to the 7Stormteam for the latest information.