MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Tropical Storm Zeta continues to lash the northern portions of the Yucatan Peninsula with strong winds and heavy rain.
At 5 a.m. Tuesday, the center of the storm was 85 miles east-southeast of Progreso, Mexico.
Zeta was moving toward the northwest near 14 mph and this general motion is forecast during the next day or so. Zeta should turn toward the north Tuesday night, and a faster northward to north-northeastward motion is anticipated on Wednesday.
On the forecast track, the center of Zeta will move over the southern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday morning and over the central Gulf of Mexico Tuesday night. Zeta is forecast to approach the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday and make landfall within the hurricane warning area late Wednesday or Wednesday night.
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:
- Morgan City, Louisiana to the Mississippi/Alabama border
- Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Metropolitan New Orleans
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:
- Punta Allen to Progreso, Mexico
- Mississippi/Alabama border to Okaloosa/Walton County Line, Florida
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:
- West of Morgan City to Intracoastal City Louisiana
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for:
- Intracoastal City Louisiana to Navarre Florida
- Lake Borgne, Lake Pontchartrain, Vermilion Bay, Pensacola Bay, and
Zeta’s sustained winds were near 70 mph with higher gusts.
Zeta is forecast to re-strengthen when it moves over the southern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday. The system is forecast to be at or near hurricane strength when it approaches the northern Gulf Coast late Wednesday.
Four to 8 inches of rain, with local amounts of 12 inches, are possible through Tuesday along and east-northeast of Zeta’s track across the Yucatan Peninsula and the Cayman Islands.
Heavy rains will begin to impact the central Gulf Coast Tuesday night, spreading north into the Tennessee Valley on Wednesday. The core of the heavy rains associated with Zeta will push northeast from eastern Louisiana, across southern Mississippi, Alabama, northern Georgia through Wednesday night, and through the southern Appalachians into the Mid-Atlantic on Thursday.
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Zeta was the earliest named 27th Atlantic storm recorded in an already historic hurricane season.
The National Hurricane Center had to turn to the Greek alphabet because there have been so many storms this 2020 season, it ran out of official names.
The last time the Greek alphabet had to be used in an Atlantic hurricane season was in 2005, the most active season on record, which had 28 named storms, including Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.