The 27th named storm of the Atlantic Season, tying the record of named storms set in 2005, will impact the Commonwealth tonight and tomorrow. The impact of Zeta will be felt as early as this evening and overnight as rain out ahead of the cyclone moves into Southside and the NRV. The ground is able to receive and distribute the rain well at first but should be overwhelmed early in the day. Thursday minor flooding of streets, creeks, streams as well as low lying regions is highly likely so stay alert for rising water in the area. The threat of an isolated tornado is commonly associated with the remnant lows that move through Virginia, so we also need to be alert for them.
The Tropical Storm Warning takes over for the wind advisory and high wind watch. This also incorporates a number of variables that will impact the region adversely. Zeta will still have strong tropical characteristics when the cyclone moves overhead.
As for the amount of rain, the good news is that the cyclone will move relatively quickly. The other thing to consider is the windy weather that also us common with tropical remnant lows.
The winds will be noticeable, in the 30 to 60 mph gust range, so make sure to secure your inflatable lawn decorations that so many of us have put out this season. Don’t expect to see any sunshine the rest of the day Wednesday and of course Thursday. Gusty winds may be the most dangerous aspect of this event as it may also bring down power lines.
Rainfall is expected to be significant in the Mtn. Empire with flooding a concern.
Once the storm leaves the region we can look forward to several days of dry and chilly weather. Highs for the weekend will be in the 50s and low 60s and lows will be in the 30s and 40s. Crisp and clear weather will dominate the weekend. If you are planning to go out and walk around the neighborhood for Halloween, the weather will not be an issue. Please stay safe, social distance, use guidelines established by the government with respect to the Pandemic and wear reflective gear.
Next week looks to be chilly and dry. Normal highs are the middle 60s, normal lows are the low 40s for early November. The forecast is calling for a warming trend with respect to temps next work week. I expect 40s for highs on Monday with middle 60s by Wednesday. Lows expected to start out in the low 30s Monday and upper 30s Wednesday.
Stay safe and healthy
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