Hurricane conditions and dangerous storm surge are expected in portions of the northern Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico Monday night and early Tuesday as a result of Tropical Storm Zeta, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). In addition, tropical storm conditions could occur over the most western parts of Cuba beginning on Monday. A hurricane warning is in effect for Tulum to Dzilam, as well as for Cozumel. A tropical storm warning is in effect for the province of Pinar del Rio in Cuba and in Mexico from south of Tulum to Punta Allen and west of Dzilam to Progreso.
The NHC says that heavy rainfall across the Yucatan, Cayman Islands and Cuba is expected through Tuesday. This may lead to flash flooding in urban areas. Later in the week—Tuesday through Thursday—heavy rainfall is forecast from portions from the central U.S. Gulf Coast into the southern Appalachians and mid-Atlantic states.
Currently, according to AccuWeather, Tropical Storm Zeta is about 140 miles southeast of Cozumel and is moving northeast at about 10 mph. It has sustained winds of 70 mph. It adds there is a chance the storm will reach Category 2 hurricane-strength with winds of 96-110 mph prior to landfall in Mexico.
Zeta, as it continues its path north after making landfall in Mexico, could be at or near hurricane strength when it reached the Gulf Coast on Wednesday. “There is an increasing risk of dangerous storm surge, wind and rainfall impacts from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle,” the NHC says, adding that residents should monitor the progress of Zeta.
AccuWeather notes that the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is just one named storm away from tying the record set in 2005. In early August, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2020 could see an “extremely active” hurricane season in the Atlantic. An average season, the NOAA says, produces 12 named storms, including six hurricanes. Still in October, Tropical Storm Zeta became the 27th named storm of the year in the Atlantic.