COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Wednesday night, Hurricane Zeta will make landfall and move inland, weakening into a tropical storm. From there, it will have a direct impact on the Chattahoochee Valley very early Thursday morning with the greatest weather impacts between 2 AM and 10 AM ET. We’ll be able to fine-tune the timing as we get closer.
TIMING: 2 AM to 10 AM ET, with the threat ending from west to east. The threat will likely not last more than a couple of hours in any given spot.
WIND: Wind gusts of 35-45 mph are possible in the area, with gusts of 50-60 mph possible in parts of Lee, Chambers, Troup, Harris, Meriwether, and Talbot counties. Winds of this speed could knock down trees onto power lines and cause power outages. Minor structural damage is possible, and anything that isn’t secured in yards could be blown around (like Halloween decorations).
TORNADOES: There is a low-end risk of isolated, spin-up tornadoes for the southern two-thirds of the Chattahoochee Valley. This is not our main concern, but a tornado watch and a few warnings can’t be ruled out.
RAIN: Heavy rainfall of 1-3″, with higher total along and northwest of Interstate 85. Flooding is not a major concern with this system because of the fast movement.
WHAT TO DO: Make sure you are in a position to get watches and warnings overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning. If you live in the counties where 50-60 mph wind gusts are forecast and have tall trees in or around your house, be mindful that you may have to quickly get to an interior room with little to no warning since a formal tornado warning may not be issued. If you live in a mobile home, take steps now to figure out where you will go and what you will do if you are concerned with the high wind impact or spin-up tornado threat. Secure any loose items in your yard that could be impacted by high winds.
STAY INFORMED: Download the WTVM weather app. Make sure your devices are charged.