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Zeta to bring potential for flooding, damaging wind to parts of the area

Gusts up to 50 mph will be possible south of U.S. 460 Thursday

Storm threats between 9 and 3 Thursday from Zeta

ROANOKE, Va. – Zeta made landfall Wednesday as a strong Category 2 hurricane and has been racing through the Deep South ever since. The fact that this storm is moving quickly means it doesn’t have much time to weaken.

Therefore, a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the southern half of our region.

Tropical storm warning in effect for the southern half of our viewing area Thursday

In addition to the threat for localized flooding, there’s the potential for wind gusts to reach 50 mph between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. in these locations. This could do damage to trees and powerlines.

Even if you’re outside of the warning, count on rounds of heavy rain until the early part of Thursday afternoon. An additional 1-2″+ is expected from the storm, which could lead to flooding of creeks, streams, poor drainage and low-lying areas.

Rainfall forecast from Zeta through Friday

As Zeta rides the spine of the Appalachian Mountains, the air rises up our mountains to create some heavy rain mostly after the morning commute. You’ll want to pack a lunch, though, to avoid any issues on the road during this time.

FutureTracker - midday Thursday

After about 12 p.m., we’ll watch for some segments of high wind gusts and possible rotation (especially in Southside). This will all be moving very quickly and will be east of the area by 2 or 3 p.m.

FutureTracker - early Thursday afternoon

We’ll still be quite windy and warm at times as we turn drier later in the day. With a wet ground, be alert to sporadic outages and downed limbs even once Zeta is east of us.

We’ll stay gusty at times Friday, but we’ll start to turn cooler. Highs for most of us will be between 55 and 60°, but Southside will be warmer. We only manage to get into the 50s on Halloween after starting with a little frost on the pumpkin. By Sunday, a few late day showers will ride a cold front.

Forecast for Halloween weekend 2020

Behind that front, we turn even colder. We may fall below freezing by next Tuesday morning.


About the Author:

Meteorologist Chris Michaels is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcaster, forecasting weather conditions in southwest Virginia on WSLS 10 News from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Virginia Today.