Tracking the Tropics: Tropical Storm Zeta strengthens to hurricane status as it moves toward Yucatan Peninsula

National News

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tropical Storm Zeta has strengthened into a hurricane – the 11th of the 2020 Atlantic season.

Zeta, the 27th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season, formed Sunday. By 3 p.m. ET Monday, the storm was about 105 miles southeast of Cozumel, Mexico with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph.

Hurricane Zeta is expected to weaken as it moves over the Yucatan Peninsula.

Once Zeta passes the peninsula and moves over the southern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, the NHC says it will likely strengthen again. The storm is expected to approach the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday at or near hurricane strength.

The latest advisory from the NHC says there is an increasing risk of dangerous storm surge, wind and rainfall impacts from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle from Zeta.

“Between Tuesday night and Thursday, heavy rainfall is expected from portions of the central U.S. Gulf Coast into the southern Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic States near or in advance of Zeta,” NHC forecasters said. “This rainfall will lead to flash, urban, small stream and minor river flooding.”

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:

  • Tulum to Dzilam, Mexico
  • Cozumel

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Pinar del Rio Cuba
  • South of Tulum to Punta Allen
  • West of Dzilam to Progreso

Louisiana is bunkering down and bracing for potential impact. Zeta could be the fifth storm to hit the hurricane-ravaged state this season after Cristobal, Laura, Marco, and Delta.

“We must roll up our sleeves, like we always do, and prepare for a potential impact to Louisiana,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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