By Nathan Ham
Yet another tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico will make landfall and bring chances of heavy rainfall to the High Country overnight Wednesday and Thursday. Hurricane Zeta is set to make landfall today in Louisiana and the storm combining with another storm front in the Midwest will bring heavy rains and gusty winds to the area.
Zeta is expected to hit Louisiana and Mississippi before traveling through the middle of Alabama, Eastern Tennessee, Western North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey before continuing into the Atlantic Ocean.
A High Wind Watch will go into effect at 2 a.m. Thursday and remain active until 8 p.m. Thursday evening. Gusts up to 50 MPH are expected. A Flood Watch will also go into effect at midnight and last through 2 p.m. on Thursday. The National Weather Service says rain will be heavy at times and most areas will see between 2-4 inches of rain.
This is not the first time this year that the remnants of a tropical system have found its way to the High Country. Tropical Storm Bertha was the first one in late May, followed by Hurricane Laura in mid-August, Hurricane Sally in mid-September, and Hurricane Delta in early October.
There are just three names left from the Greek alphabet should there be any more tropical storms this year. Eta, Theta, and Iota remain unused.
After the rain moves out of the area Thursday night, big temperature changes will be in store in the High Country. According to the latest forecast from Ray’s Weather Center, high temperatures will hover around 50 degrees on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with lows dropping into the 30s. On Monday, the high will barely reach 40 degrees with a low in the upper 20s.