71ºF

Where ZETA is most likely to go

A sense of humor helps
A sense of humor helps

My friend and colleague, New Orleans Meteorologist David Bernard, posted the above cover pic on his Facebook page along with this salient statistic:

“The state has been in the cone for 3 weeks this year. Zeta is the 7th storm out of 27 total. So basically 25% of all Atlantic storms have involved Louisiana. #magnolianomore

And talk about running the gamut from A to Z -- storm 27 now ties 2020 with the record 2005 season for most named storms, and we still have more than a month left in the season. Louisiana to Alabama will have to brace for impacts beginning Tuesday with a landfall Wednesday. Below are the American model followed by the European model forecasts:

American Model courtesy Tropical Tidbits
American Model courtesy Tropical Tidbits
European Model courtesy Weathermodels
European Model courtesy Weathermodels

The European has had a west bias all year and the NHC official forecast favors the American:

ZETA forecast from the National Hurricane Center
ZETA forecast from the National Hurricane Center

So what’s protecting us?

We can thank these fronts coming out of the Rockies for sliding these tropical systems away from Texas. Below is the current surface set up where I’ve highlighted the low-pressure systems coming out of the desert southwest followed by the sagging front that protects us and then takes Zeta well away.

Surface Analysis right now
Surface Analysis right now
Sagging front shields Texas
Sagging front shields Texas
Front takes Zeta into the southeast
Front takes Zeta into the southeast

This is our typical scenario for this time of year with cold fronts keeping storms away. But don’t be fooled by our cool air -- the Gulf waters are indeed cooler, but still, 78-84°F (26-29°C) and that’s enough to sustain at least a minimum hurricane all the way to landfall:

Gulf water is running from 78-84°
Gulf water is running from 78-84°

We’ll carefully monitor for any changes to the forecast and, in the meantime, prayers to our friends to the east!

Frank

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