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The heart of hurricane season is here, but it's NOT too late to prepare!
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1. Strong, damaging wind gusts, which could cause tree damage andpower outages, will continue to spread eastward across portions of the Carolinas and southeastern Virginia through this afternoon due to Zeta's fast forward speed.

2. Through today, heavy rainfall is expected near and in advance of Zeta from portions of the Ohio Valley, into the central Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic. This rainfall may lead to flash, urban, small stream, and isolated minor river flooding.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

Key messages for Zeta can be found in the Tropical Cyclone Discussion under AWIPS header MIATCDAT3, WMO header WTNT43 KNHC, and on the web at www.hurricanes.gov/text/MIATCDAT3.shtml.

WIND: Damaging winds, especially in gusts, will continue to spread across portions of eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia through this evening.

RAINFALL: Areas of heavy rainfall, both in advance of Zeta and along the track of Zeta, will impact areas from the central Appalachians, MidAtlantic and lower to middle Ohio Valley through Thursday. Rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches are expected across these areas, resulting in possible flash, urban, small stream, and isolated minor river flooding.

TORNADOES: A tornado or two is possible this afternoon across the Carolinas and southern Virginia.

At 200 PM EDT (1800 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Zeta was located near latitude 37.8 North, longitude 78.2 West. Zeta is moving rapidly toward the eastnortheast near 53 mph (85 km/h). An even faster motion toward the eastnortheast is expected tonight and on Friday. On the forecast track, the center of Zeta will continue to move across Virginia this afternoon, and emerge over the western Atlantic by this evening.

Maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph (85 km/h) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast once Zeta moves over the western Atlantic, but the cyclone should become absorbed by a frontal system by Friday night.

Tropicalstormforce winds extend outward up to 275 miles (445 km) mainly to the southeast of the center. A sustained wind of 51 mph (82 km/h) and a gust to 72 mph (116 km/h) were recently reported at a station in Conway, North Carolina, to the east of Roanoke Rapids.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 992 mb (29.29 inches).

Zeta continues to move rapidly over land, and its maximum sustained winds are estimated to be near 45 kt over the southeastern quadrant, with thew highest winds occuring over elevated locations. The wind gust factor continues to be higher than usual due to the interaction with land.Zeta continues to accelerate northeastward and is now moving near 055/42 kt. The cyclone should accelerate some more ahead of a strong 500-mb trough moving into the eastern United States over the next day or so. The official track forecast is in reasonable agreement with the global model predictions.

The pressure pattern of Zeta is becoming distorted, and starting to take on an extratropical appearance as the cyclone begins to interact with a nearby frontal system. By this afternoon, the global models indicate that the system will become a frontal low and thus extratropical. Some short-term baroclinic strengthening is possible over the western Atlantic, but the guidance suggests that the system will become absorbed into the frontal zone in 36 hours or so.

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Sources include nearest National Weather Service office, National Hurricane Center, and the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (@FloridaStorms).
Sources include nearby emergency management agencies, FEMA, and your local NPR affiliate. 
Sources include the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Highway Patrol and other nearby traffic information.

Partners of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network include: Florida's Division of Emergency Management, WDNA (Miami), WFIT (Melbourne), WMFE (Orlando), WFSU (Tallahassee), WGCU (Fort Myers), WJCT (Jacksonville), WKGC (Panama City), WLRN (Miami), WMNF (Tampa-Sarasota), WQCS (Fort Pierce), WUFT (Gainesville-Ocala), WUSF (Tampa), WUWF (Pensacola) and Florida Public Media.

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