Hurricane Zeta Strikes

This article was published on November 10, 2020 by Kashvi Vijay.

Even though it’s November, hurricanes still continue to wreak havoc. Among these storms was Hurricane Zeta, a Category 2 hurricane that recently made landfall in Louisiana. Meanwhile, upcoming storms such as Hurricane Eta are expected to make landfall sometime this week.

Hurricane Zeta is the 27th named storm in the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season. This is a huge thing because normally there aren’t many named storms. According to CNN, the only hurricane season that had more than 27 named storms was the hurricane season of 2005, which included hurricanes such as Katrina and Wilma. Some attribute a large number of storms to climate change. People believe that the rise in temperatures leads to a warmer ocean. Hurricanes need warm waters to thrive, and some think that climate change is responsible for the formation of a large number of storms.

So what exactly does a hurricane need to thrive? As mentioned above, hurricanes rely on warm water and humid air to grow. This is why the Gulf of Mexico is the perfect breeding ground for hurricanes and storms. The warm waters can strengthen a storm and make it deadlier. Hurricanes also need a variety of other conditions as well. When humid air flows in an area of low pressure in the water, water releases from the air, creating clouds of a storm. As it rises, the air in a hurricane rotates due to the Coriolis effect. Therefore, hurricanes need to form in a low-pressure area so it can create clouds of a storm.

Hurricane Zeta first formed near the Western Caribbean Sea on October 19. It became a tropical depression on October 24 but quickly reached hurricane status on October 25. It became a Category 2 storm on October 26, which is when it made landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. It continued to wreak havoc on Mexico, the U.S., and the Caribbean until October 30, which is when the storm dissipated.

Hurricane Zeta’s trajectory and timeline

Hurricane Zeta sustained a maximum wind speed of 110 mph and unleashed torrential rain. It affected mainly the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Mexico, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Many of the local and state officials issued warnings and mandatory evacuations ahead of Hurricane Zeta. For example, on October 26, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards issued a state of emergency for the entire state, and on October 28, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency ahead of Zeta.

Hurricane Zeta has profound effects on the areas that it hit. In Mexico, heavy flooding occurred whale two people died from the flooding in Jamaica. In Louisiana, many people lost electricity because the storm caused many power lines to fall down. Moreover, heavy flooding led one person to die in Louisiana. Tornadoes also formed during this hurricane. In Mississippi, many tornadoes created by Zeta led to the damage of multiple buildings, houses, and offices. Overall, five people died from the storm, while places like Jamaica incurred $13.7 million in damages.

What can we do? There are many GoFundMe’s started solely for Hurricane Zeta relief. Donating to these fundraisers and other humanitarian organizations helps the destroyed cities get rebuilt and makes sure the struggling families get the support they need.