The latest forecast brings the center of the storm across Central and Northeast Alabama (very near I-59 from Sumter County to DeKalb County) from around 1 AM Thursday to 7 AM Thursday. Near and south of that track line, expect very strong winds, flash flooding from heavy rainfall, and a threat of some severe storms that could produce tornadoes.
The impact will vary greatly from place to place!
These are some of the things we’ll be looking for Wednesday night through early Thursday (at the earliest 7 PM Wednesday to 7 AM Thursday):
- Strong wind gusts: generally less than 40 MPH, but near the center a narrow area of 50-80 MPH gusts are possible.
- Heavy rainfall: some flooding is possible with more than four inches of rain possible near the track. Average rainfall will be in the 1.5″ to 3.0″ range.
- Tornadoes: these are sporadic occurrences with tropical systems, but we will be on the lookout for them especially over Central and East Alabama including Blount, Marshall, DeKalb, Etowah and Cherokee Counties overnight Wednesday into Thursday.
The bottom line is that you should be prepared for power outages and be alert for any short-term ‘alerts’ like Tornado Warnings or Severe Thunderstorm Warnings so that you can take action to protect yourself and your loved ones.
There is some built-in uncertainty in the track here, too. Don’t let anyone tell you something will happen ‘exactly this way.’
That’s not science, y’all.
We’re predicting the future. We know an impactful weather event is coming. We know some of the characteristics that it will have and the threats it will pose. We cannot know exactly how it will impact Skyline Drive in Madison, 3rd Avenue in Cullman and Blue Pond Blvd. in Sylvania. Use the forecast to prepare yourself for what could happen should the worst of the wind, rain and storms pass through your area.
You can keep up with the latest track of Zeta with our interactive map below:
Track Tropical Storm Fred with WHNT.com’s Interactive Radar or swipe over to the radar feature on Live Alert 19! You can also get up-to-date, location-based alerts wherever you are on Live Alert 19. Download it today for iOS and Android.
Make SURE your phone is charged, and charge any battery banks or external power supplies if you have them. Making sure you have batteries and working flashlights or lanterns is also a good idea. If you’ve got any special decorations outside for Fall or Halloween, it’s time to bring those indoors and secure any loose lawn or patio furniture. We’ll keep you up to date on Zeta’s impacts on News 19, online here on WHNT.com, and on the Live Alert 19 app.