National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

 

Hurricane Zeta

Tropical Depression Twenty-eight formed across the Eastern Caribbean late in the afternoon on October 24th and strengthened into Tropical Storm Zeta early on the 25th. Zeta was upgraded to a minimal hurricane during the afternoon of October 26th, and later made landfall across the Northeast Yucatán Peninsula later that evening. Zeta weakened to a tropical storm as it crossed the Northeast Yucatán Peninsula, emerging across the Southern Gulf of Mexico shortly after daybreak on October 27th.

With an approaching upper level low over Texas, Zeta began turning to the north and regained hurricane strength early on October 28th. Zeta continued to intensify as it moved north and then northeast towards the Southeast Louisiana Coast. Zeta made landfall at maximum intensity of 110 mph and pressure of 970 mb (28.64 inches of mercury) at 4 PM CDT October 28th near Cocodrie, Louisiana. Zeta moved directly over New Orleans as a category 2 hurricane shortly after landfall and southern Mississippi later that evening.

Most of Zeta’s effects were felt east of the Atchafalaya River across Southeast Louisiana and Southern Mississippi. Minimal tropical storm force gusts were recorded at Patterson, Louisiana, Atchafalaya Bay and the adjacent coastal waters.

Hurricane Zeta was the sixth hurricane and record tenth named tropical cyclone to make landfall across the United States (which was broken again on November 8th with Tropical Storm Eta being the eleventh named storm to make landfall).

Hurricane Zeta was the record tying fourth named storm to make landfall in Louisiana in a single season, previously set in 2002. Zeta was also the third hurricane to make direct landfall in Louisiana, tying the records from 1860, 1985, and 2005. Other notable season and October records (since 1851) for Louisiana are summarized below:


Louisiana tied the record (with 2002) of 4 direct tropical cyclone landfalls.
Tropical Storm Cristobal: June 7, 2020 landfall near Grand Isle (50 mph)
Hurricane Laura: August 26-27, 2020 landfall at Cameron (150 mph - Category 4)
Hurricane Delta: October 9-10, 2020 landfall at Creole (100 mph - Category 2)
Hurricane Zeta: October 28, 2020 landfall at Cocodrie (110 mph - Category 2)


Louisiana "indirect" tropical cyclones to bring at least tropical storm force winds to the coast.
Tropical Storm Marco: August 24, 2020 coastal Southeast Louisiana
Hurricane Sally: September 15, 2020 coastal Southeast Louisiana
Tropical Storm Beta: September 22, 2020 coastal Southcentral and Southwest Louisiana


Years with 3 hurricane (landfalls and indirect) affecting Louisiana:
1860: Hurricane #1: August 11-12, Hurricane #4: September 14-15, Hurricane #6 October 2
1985: Hurricane Danny: August 15, Hurricane Elena: September 2 (Inland after MS Landfall), Hurricane Juan: October 29
2005 :Hurricane Cindy: July 5-6, Hurricane Katrina: August 29, Hurricane Rita: September 23-24
2020: Hurricane Laura: August 26-27, Hurricane Delta: October 9-10, Hurricane Zeta: October 28


Latest hurricane landfall in Louisiana: Hurricane Juan: October 29, 1985, landfall in St. Mary Parish (85 mph - Category 1)

Latest Category 2 hurricane landfall in Louisiana. Hurricane Zeta: October 28 2020, landfall near Cocodrie in Terrebonne parish.

First time Louisiana had 2 October Hurricane landfalls in the same season.

Strongest October Louisiana Hurricane Landfall: "Cheniere Caminada" Hurricane October 2, 1893 in Southeast Louisiana (130 mph - Category 4). This was also the 4th deadliest hurricane in U.S. history with an estimated 1100-1400 deaths.

Listed below are post-storm reports and meteorological data gathered. All data is considered preliminary, and is subject to change at any time. Additional information will continue to be added to this page in the future.



Above: GOES 16 GeoColor Satellite Image of Hurricane Zeta at 2101 UTC (4:01 PM CDT) on October 28, 2020.


Above: New Orleans, LA WSR-88D radar image of Hurricane Zeta Landfall at 2105 UTC (4:05 PM CDT) on October 28, 2020.


Above: Hurrevac track of Hurricane Zeta from operational National Hurricane Center public advisories.

Radar and Satellite Animated Imagery
(NWS LCH YouTube)
Radar Imagery: New Orleans, LA Mobile, LA Fort Polk, LA
Jackson, MS Huntsville, AL Atlanta, GA
GOES 16 Satellite Imagery: 4km Infrared 4km Visible 4km GeoColor
  2km Infrared 1km Visible 1km GeoColor

 

Post Tropical Cyclone Reports
Lake Charles, LA New Orleans, LA Mobile, AL
Tallahassee, FL Jackson, MS Birmingham, AL
Atlanta, GA Greenville, SC Blacksburg, VA
  National Hurricane Center  

 

Assistance Resources 
NOAA Hurricane Zeta Aerial Imagery Hurricane Zeta Resource page from FEMA

 

Webpage by: Donovan Landreneau
Data collection by: Donovan Landreneau