Scoot: Hurricane Zeta - part of the bizarre year of 2020!


There will be an official bill presented to the state legislature that would officially change the name of Louisiana to the Cone of Uncertainty, U.S.A.  The bill is expected to pass overwhelmingly with bipartisan support.

Can you believe another storm is headed for the Louisiana coast?  Even in this year of extraordinary events from the coronavirus pandemic to the most-heated presidential campaign anyone can remember, another hurricane is expected to hit Louisiana and New Orleans remains in the target area.

Hurricane Zeta should hit the southeast Louisiana coast Wednesday between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm, but we all know how quickly landfall predictions can change.

The city of New Orleans was in the cone of uncertainty with Tropical Storm Cristobal, Hurricane Laura, Tropical Storm Marco, Hurricane Sally and Hurricane Delta, but weather patterns steered all of those storms away from New Orleans and the city was spared.  It was almost a joke to say that the best news for New Orleans is the be in the cone of uncertainty early in the storm tracks because inevitably storms would brush past the city.

Currently, Hurricane Zeta continues on a path that will take the storm right over or slightly to the east of New Orleans.  Any slight jog to the east means the city will be spared for the northeast quadrant of the storm, which is always the most powerful section.  But as of the writing of this blog, New Orleans is officially under a Hurricane Warning.

While people are taking the storm seriously, there is more of a que sera, sera attitude in the New Orleans metropolitan area.  It may not be fair to say that we have become desensitized to storms, but the active hurricane season of 2020 does seem to have created more of an ambience of acceptance and not panic.  Even the minimal storms, like Tropical Storm Cristobal earlier in the season, stirred greater anxiety than I sense with Hurricane Zeta.  One of the reasons we may feel a bit more matter-of-fact about this storm is that most of us stocked up on items needed to survive a hurricane when the first storm targeted us but missed us.  Let’s be honest - the items we buy to survive a hurricane are not the things we choose to eat on a daily basis so if you stocked up for the first storm then you should still have those supplies since all of the other storms missed the city.

There will be those who need to board up the windows of homes and businesses, but I just don’t sense the high state of anxiety that usually accompanies an approaching hurricane.

But there is reason to take Zeta seriously.  The other big storms missed the greater New Orleans area, but no one ever knows specifically where a storm will hit and there is always the chance it will be worse than anticipated.

Adding to the  unique circumstances of Hurricane Zeta is the fact that the storm will move quickly through the area and be replaced immediately by a cold front, which will cool temperatures to a fall-like level.

And let’s add this to the extraordinary year of 2020 - Halloween is always a huge and wild celebration in New Orleans.  The mystique of the French Quarter and the city’s relationship with masquerading during Mardi Gras, Halloween is the perfect date on the calendar for the city.  This year, Halloween is on a Saturday, which will invite an even more potent party atmosphere, and this Saturday a full Blue Moon will hang over the New Orleans celebration.  Oh, one more thing!  This is the weekend of the time change, which means we move our clocks and watches back one hour and 2:00 am Sunday morning becomes 1:00 am again, giving everyone an extra hour to party!

In cities where there is last call at 2:00 am, moving the time back to 1:00 am gives everyone an extra hour of drinking, but in New Orleans, and I’m sure many cities, the coronavirus pandemic has forced bars to close much earlier than 2:00 am.  Last call in New Orleans is 11:00 pm.  The idea that there is an extra hour to party Halloween night will add to the party atmosphere.

It’s 2020, what else should you expect - the 5th storm of the hurricane season heading for New Orleans, a cold front sweeping through the next day and a full moon and an extra hour to party on Halloween night!

Yes, it’s 2020!

BTW:  Should we cancel our subscription to “The Hurricane of the Month Club?"