Tropical Storm Zeta is drawing closer to North Carolina, and forecasters say the Tar Heel State could see powerful winds.
As of 8 a.m. Thursday, Zeta was about 50 miles west of Asheville and heading northeast at 39 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. Maximum sustained winds clocked in at about 60 mph.
A gust of 82 mph was recently reported in Cashiers, North Carolina.
“Zeta continues to produce damaging winds across portions of the southeastern United States,” the NHC said.
The NHC says the storm is expected to cross portions of the southeastern United States on Thursday morning before moving across the Mid-Atlantic states Thursday afternoon and entering the western Atlantic Ocean by Thursday night.
By later on Thursday, forecasters say Zeta is expected to become a non-tropical gale-force low.
Kate Garner of the FOX8 Max Weather Center reports that the Piedmont Triad is under a Marginal Risk (Level 1) threat for storm severity. The biggest threat will be gusty winds. There is a small threat for an isolated tornado.
Nearly the entire FOX8 viewing area is under a Tropical Storm Warning with the exception of Randolph, Alamance and Montgomery counties.
The Triad will see the most risk of high winds between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Thursday. Winds could be between 40 and 50 mph and may reach as high as 60 mph.
By about 10 a.m. Thursday, there will be heavy rain in the Triad. Parts of the Triad could see well over an inch of rain while other area may experience well under an inch, Garner said.
“Overnight, skies are expected to remain mostly cloudy, and the rain will continue,” Garner said. “Winds will hold steady and require you to secure your patio furniture and bring in anything that may blow away. Once Zeta moves through, we are done with the rain for a bit and will be able to enjoy a beautiful but much cooler weekend!”
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