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:
The European has had a west bias all year and the NHC official forecast favors the American:
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.
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:
We’ll carefully monitor for any changes to the forecast and, in the meantime, prayers to our friends to the east!