COVINGTON, Ga. — The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a tropical storm warning for Newton County and the majority of north Georgia.
A tropical storm warning means tropical storm-force winds are expected somewhere within the area within the next 36 hours. According to the NWS, Hurricane Zeta is expected to make landfall Wednesday evening on the southeast coast of Louisiana, bringing damaging winds and torrential rain to the area.
As of 11 a.m., the peak wind forecast remains at 20-30 mph with gusts up to 40 mph with potential for winds raging up to 57 mph. Residents are encouraged to prepare for the storm by making any necessary efforts to protect property. The NWS stated the situation was currently "unfavorable" for tornadoes.
A flash flood watch is also in effect through Thursday evening for Newton County and the majority of north Georgia.
The NWS stated heavy rainfall is expected across the area “due to the influence of a warm front (Wednesday) then with rain bands associated with the remnants of Hurricane Zeta as it weakens and tracks across the forecast area (Wednesday night) into Thursday.”
Average rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches are expected across north Georgia, according to the NWS, but higher amounts are possible.
A flash flood watch means that “conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding,” the NWS stated, which can be dangerous.
Residents are encouraged to monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action in the event flash flood warnings are issued.
The flash flood watch went into effect at 8 a.m. Wednesday.