Hurricane Zeta set to send heavy rain into parts of the WOWK viewing area Thursday


CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – A hurricane labeled Zeta is expected to cross the Gulf Coast by mid week but the bands of rain associated with it are expected to reach the WOWK TV viewing area as early as late Wednesday night.

Predictor model output showing bands of rain

The range of loosely Zeta-associated rain bands should extend hundreds of miles inland and rounds of tropical showers should proceed for more than 24 hours. (see image above) An area of high pressure in the Atlantic will also contribute some extra humidity to the overall flow coming into our region from the south.

Zeta is expected to maintain a Category 1 status across the still-warm Gulf waters until it makes landfall some time Thursday morning.

The early “cone of uncertainty” from the National Hurricane Center started with an average path of the expected remnant low right over the WOWK viewing area but subsequent forecasts have trended south and east. (See image below)

Forecast cone for Hurricane Zeta as of Monday October 26, 2020

The actual center of the low and closely-associated rain bands are projected to take a path somewhat farther south, passing over anywhere from southeast Kentucky and southern West Virginia to a slightly more eastern path across Western North Carolina and Virginia. (See image below) A cold front is also anticipated to sweep the leftover low pressure center to the south and east as well during Thursday afternoon. This could enhance wind gusts slightly.

Predictor model output for Thursday afternoon showing the center of the storm in eastern Tennessee moving northeast and heavy rain banks stretching into West Virginia

Winds are not expected to reach severe limits, but the American GFS model indicates that gusts above 25 mph are possible late Thursday into Friday morning.

American GFS model output showing progression of wind gusts Thursday-Friday from Zeta

Weather models such as the StormTracker 13 Predictor indicate some soggy conditions, with 1 to 2 inches of rain possible and potentially as much as 3 inches. Smaller streams and creeks may need to be watched for high water as the rain is falling.

Predictor model output for accumulated rainfall. Created 10 p.m. Monday October 26, 2020

A separate area of low pressure in the mid and upper levels of the atmosphere is expected to kick out of the Great Plains and help steer the anticipated remnants of Zeta off to the east Friday morning, opening the door for drier air but much cooler air with highs only in the 50s on Friday afternoon.

Predictor model output shows the remnants of Zeta out to sea with light showers lingering over the WOWK region until about mid day Friday.

It’s a good time to download the free StormTracker 13 app right here. Enable locations and enable alerts in the SafTNet Alert section of the app so you can stay ahead of this or any storm, any time, anywhere you are.

Follow Spencer Adkins on Facebook and Twitter for the latest weather developments.

For local forecasts, weather alerts, live VIPIR Radar and more, download the FREE StormTracker 13 Weather App from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

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