SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Hurricane Zeta will bring significant impacts to South Mississippi tonight. The WLOX First Alert Weather Team is providing live continuous coverage in the video link above.
The window of opportunity for the highest winds, surge, and heaviest rain will be between 6 PM Wed and 12 AM Thursday for South Mississippi - that’s Pearl River, Stone, George, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson counties.
Damaging winds could gust over 80 mph on the coast. It’s worth noting, some models take wind gusts 90-100 mph just offshore and on the immediate coastline. That’s certainly enough for power outages, tree damage, and some minor structural damage.
6-9 feet of surge along the entire South Mississippi coast is possible. If you live along tidal rivers, don’t get caught off guard by waters rising.
3-5 inches of rain is possible with locally higher amounts. The fast motion of Zeta will limit rainfall potential.
If Zeta follows the center of the current forecast track, then South Mississippi will see periods of rainy weather through Wednesday night. The absolute brunt of the heaviest rain and the strongest wind is expected to be during and just after landfall from about 4 PM Wednesday through 10 PM, with the storm-force winds finally decreasing between 10 PM and 1 AM. Storm surge in low lying areas and along the coast could be as high as 6-9 feet. Day-by-day breakdown below:
- Wednesday: Windy. Periods of heavy rain with a slight chance for thunderstorms. Storm surge & rainfall flooding possible. Tornadoes possible. Southeast wind 15-25 mph, increasing to 35-50 mph. Rain chance near 90% to 100%.
- Wednesday Night: Windy with widespread squalls. Storm surge & rainfall flooding possible. Tornadoes possible. Southwest wind up to 70 mph, with higher gusts. Rain chance 80% to 100%.
- Thursday: Breezy. Becoming partly cloudy. West wind 10 to 20 mph. Rain chance 20%, early. Thursday Night: Clear skies. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.