5:00PM October 26, 2020

TROPICAL STORM WATCH FOR ENTIRE LOCAL AREA AHEAD OF ZETA… Hurricane Zeta has prompted a Tropical Storm Watch for the entire local area in southwest Alabama and northwest Florida. No matter if you are inland or along the coast, you are now involved in a Tropical Storm Watch. This means that tropical storm force wind gusts (in excess of 39 mph) may be possible across the entirety of our local area. There also is a Hurricane Watch is in effect from Morgan City, Louisiana eastward to the Alabama-Mississippi state line including several counties in Mississippi and Louisiana. The Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from the Alabama-Mississippi state line eastward to Miramar Beach, Florida.

LANDFALL OF ZETA LIKELY ON WEDNESDAY EVENING… The cone of uncertainty for the northern Gulf Coast now extends from Morgan City, Louisiana eastward to Navarre, Florida. A landfall point in southeast Louisiana seems most likely, but further jogs to the east or west may be possible in the hours ahead. Emphasis: The landfall POINT is one point on the map. Impacts WILL extend well outward from the center of circulation and our local area is slated to be on the volatile eastern side of this storm as it passes.

The following information from my previous post earlier this afternoon remains on target. Next live video this evening!

POTENTIAL LOCAL IMPACTS – ZETA… Heavy rain and tornadoes will probably end up being the greatest impacts from Zeta for our local area in south Alabama and northwest Florida. Gusty winds will also be possible near the Alabama and northwest Florida beaches. All coastal hazards are possible as well, including rip currents, high waves, coastal flooding, and storm surge. Fortunately, there continues to be high confidence Zeta will be accelerating northeast by the middle of the week, meaning widespread extreme river and creek flooding (like what we saw with Hurricane Sally several weeks ago) is currently NOT expected.

UPDATED TIMING OF LOCAL ZETA IMPACTS… The overall timeline of expected impacts from Hurricane Zeta has been moved to be a bit later. Noon Wednesday to Noon Thursday will be the 24 hour window when potential local impacts from Tropical Storm Zeta will be MOST likely to happen across south Alabama and northwest Florida. The latest guidance suggests 8PM Wednesday to 4AM on Thursday will be the 8 hour window when impacts will be most likely to happen locally across south Alabama and northwest Florida.

LIVE VIDEO THIS EVENING… We will “go live” on Facebook at some point this evening between 7PM and 9:30PM. Until then, plenty more updates will be posted in the RedZone Weather app.

APP ALERTS… redzoneweather.com/app is the link where you can download the free RedZone Weather app. We post brief updates throughout each day in the app, keeping you up-to-date about the latest happenings in weather across south Alabama and northwest Florida. Once you have the free app downloaded to your iOS or Android device, be sure to visit the Alerts tab (lower right corner) then tap the large, yellow Alert Settings button to customize the alerts you would like to receive straight from me.

Have a good Monday evening!

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2:19PM October 26, 2020

ZETA STRENGTHENS AND IS NOW A HURRICANE… Maximum winds have increased to 80 mph near the center of Zeta, making the storm the 11th hurricane of the hyperactive 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Local impacts in south Alabama and northwest Florida ARE expected from Hurricane Zeta. One change from earlier forecasts: It looks like the storm will pass by our area 6-12 hours later than suggested a day ago. This means that the impacts locally are most likely to happen from Wednesday evening into the overnight hours and Thursday morning.

LANDFALL OF ZETA EXPECTED ON WEDNESDAY… The cone of uncertainty for the northern Gulf Coast now extends from Morgan City, Louisiana eastward to Orange Beach, Alabama. A landfall point in southeast Louisiana seems most likely, but further jogs to the east or west may be possible in the hours ahead. Emphasis: The landfall POINT is one point on the map. Impacts WILL extend well outward from the center of circulation and our local area is slated to be on the volatile eastern side of this storm as it passes.

POTENTIAL LOCAL IMPACTS – ZETA… Heavy rain and tornadoes will probably end up being the greatest impacts from Zeta for our local area in south Alabama and northwest Florida. Gusty winds will also be possible near the Alabama and northwest Florida beaches. All coastal hazards are possible as well, including rip currents, high waves, coastal flooding, and storm surge. Fortunately, there continues to be high confidence Zeta will be accelerating northeast by the middle of the week, meaning widespread extreme river and creek flooding (like what we saw with Hurricane Sally several weeks ago) is currently NOT expected.

UPDATED TIMING OF LOCAL ZETA IMPACTS… The overall timeline of expected impacts from Hurricane Zeta has been moved to be a bit later. Noon Wednesday to Noon Thursday will be the 24 hour window when potential local impacts from Tropical Storm Zeta will be MOST likely to happen across south Alabama and northwest Florida. The latest guidance suggests 8PM Wednesday to 4AM on Thursday will be the 8 hour window when impacts will be most likely to happen locally across south Alabama and northwest Florida.

LIVE VIDEO THIS EVENING… We will “go live” on Facebook at some point this evening between 7PM and 9:30PM. Until then, plenty more updates will be posted in the RedZone Weather app.

APP ALERTS… redzoneweather.com/app is the link where you can download the free RedZone Weather app. We post brief updates throughout each day in the app, keeping you up-to-date about the latest happenings in weather across south Alabama and northwest Florida. Once you have the free app downloaded to your iOS or Android device, be sure to visit the Alerts tab (lower right corner) then tap the large, yellow Alert Settings button to customize the alerts you would like to receive straight from me.

Have a good Monday evening!

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12:02PM October 26, 2020

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9:56PM October 25, 2020

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7:34PM October 25, 2020

ZETA LIKELY TO MOVE NEAR OR OVER LOCAL AREA ON WEDNESDAY… Tropical Storm Zeta is expected to approach south Alabama and northwest Florida on Wednesday, probably as a strong tropical storm or a category 1 hurricane. Heavy rain, gusty winds (especially near the coast), tornadoes, and storm surge will become possible Wednesday into Thursday. Join me in this LIVE video update for the very latest on Zeta.

The following information remains completely on target from my previous post. My next long form text discussion will accompany the Monday morning video at 7:15AM.

POTENTIAL LOCAL IMPACTS – ZETA… Heavy rain and flash flooding will likely be the main concerns across south Alabama and northwest Florida due to the passage of Tropical Storm Zeta near or over our local area. In addition, there likely will be a threat of a few tornadoes, gusty winds near the Alabama and northwest Florida beaches, and potentially storm surge issues. Coastal flooding and rip currents will also be concerns at the local beaches. Fortunately, there is high confidence Zeta will be accelerating northeast by the middle of the week, meaning widespread extreme river and creek flooding (like what we saw with Hurricane Sally several weeks ago) is currently NOT expected.

UPDATED TIMING – LOCAL ZETA IMPACTS… 4AM Wednesday to 4AM Thursday will be the 24 hour window when potential local impacts from Tropical Storm Zeta will be MOST likely to happen across south Alabama and northwest Florida. The latest guidance suggests Noon to 10PM on Wednesday will be the 10 hour window when impacts will be most likely to happen locally across south Alabama and northwest Florida. This is highly subject to change based on the latest forecast in the days ahead. Please check back for updates as the forecast becomes more precise.

TORNADO RISK ON WEDNESDAY INTO WEDNESDAY NIGHT… Considering our local area will likely be on the eastern flank of Zeta (or perhaps very near the center), tornadoes will be a concern across the entire local area on Wednesday into Wednesday night. It appears the tornado risk will be maximized from Noon to 10PM on Wednesday. This timeframe is subject to change, thus please check back for updates in the days ahead.

HEAVY RAIN & FLASH FLOODING POSSIBLE WEDNESDAY INTO THURSDAY… Zeta is set to be a rainmaker across the local area, even if the center of circulation moves inland to our west. The latest rainfall total projections suggest much of our area will have 2 to 4 inches of rainfall with isolated higher amounts (5-6″). While this certainly will be a good soaking, it seems like widespread river and creek flooding is not likely to happen at this point. After the passage of Zeta, we will have dry days in store for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

STORM SURGE POSSIBLE… Storm surge may become a concern at the immediate beaches with a 2 to 4 foot storm surge being possible along the Alabama and northwest Florida coastline. We will begin to get a much better assessment of the storm surge potential tomorrow into Tuesday.

WIND IMPACTS POSSIBLE NEAR OUR LOCAL COASTLINE… The overall risk for high winds will be greatest near the Alabama and northwest Florida beaches and near where the center of Zeta ultimately moves onshore. Wind impacts farther inland (north of I-10) seem unlikely, for now.

HURRICANE WARNING FOR YUCATAN PENINSULA… The Yucatan Peninsula really cannot catch a break as this is the third hurricane warning for this area in the last month or so. A Hurricane Warning is now in effect for the Yucatan Peninsula from Tulum to Rio Lagartos, including Cozumel.

HURRICANE WATCH FOR NORTHERN GULF COAST LIKELY MONDAY… A Hurricane Watch or a Tropical Storm Watch will be needed for parts of the northern Gulf Coast on Monday. I would not be surprised to see a Hurricane Watch issued for part of our local area, based on the current projected path for Zeta.

WHAT IS DRIVING ZETA… Tropical Storm Zeta is not moving very much at all so far on Sunday. That was and is expected as Zeta is currently in an environment with very little upper-level atmospheric steering. Zeta will be drawn to the north on the western side of a developing ridge of high pressure over the Florida Peninsula and the southwestern Atlantic Ocean. This area of high pressure causes air/wind to move in a clockwise fashion, meaning Zeta will be moving north or northwest over the next 2 days. You will see forward speed of Zeta increase over the next few days. Once we get to Wednesday and Thursday, Zeta will increasingly “feel” the effects of an upper-level trough of low pressure over the southwestern U.S. That, in combination with a cold front, will begin to steer Zeta northeast later in the week. The large scale pattern is set and there is high confidence in this overall setup. Despite this, it is hard to pinpoint a landfall location just yet considering how weak the storm is. Once the storm develops more and moves northwest, we will begin to see the cone of uncertainty along the northern Gulf Coast start to shrink in size.

SET UP APP ALERTS… Many updates will be posted throughout the day in the RedZone Weather app. redzoneweather.com/app is the link for the free download. Be sure to visit the Alerts tab (bottom right corner) and tap the large, yellow “Alert Settings” button to customize the alerts you’d like to receive from me. If you like a lot of info, be sure to toggle ON Low-Level Alerts.

NEXT UPDATE… My next video update concerning Tropical Storm Zeta will be posted by 7:15AM on Monday. Until then, more updates will be posted in the RedZone Weather app. Have a great Sunday evening!

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