Zeta close to hurricane strength; track confidence improves

Katie Ramirez
October 27, 2020

Zeta is expected to become a hurricane later today.

Tropical Storm Zeta rapidly strengthened overnight and is forecast to turn into a Category 1 hurricane sometime Monday.

As of 4 p.m. EDT Monday, Zeta boasted winds near 130 km/h and was roughly 170 kilometres southeast of Cozumel, Mexico.

Zeta is moving toward the northwest near 10 miles per hour (17 km/h).

Forecasters expect the storm will pick up speed and see additional strengthening until it moves over the Yucatan Peninsula late Monday, where it could make landfall.

A hurricane warning is already in effect for Cozumel and Tulum to Rio Lagartos in Mexico.

The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch for portions of the Louisiana and MS coasts on Monday. The NHC warns of life-threatening hurricane conditions, telling residents of at-risk areas to follow directions from their local authorities.

The are the winter advisories and central Oklahoma is in an Ice Storm Warning!

Hurricane Zeta lashed the western Caribbean with heavy winds and rains as it threatens the U.S. Gulf Coast with yet another serious storm. Zeta should weaken while it's over land, but is likely to strengthen once it's back over the Gulf of Mexico.

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BP BP.L , Chevron CVX.N and Equinor ASA EQNR.OL evacuated platforms and halted production, spokespeople said, as Zeta steamed toward Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

The deluge of wet weather could also lead to minor river and flash flooding, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Four to six feet of storm surge is possible in coastal or low lying areas Wednesday evening through Thursday morning. Atlantic storms that made landfall moved 2.9 miles per hour (4.7 kph) slower than 60 years ago, the study found. Study author James Kossin, a government climate scientist, said the trend has signs of human-caused climate change. So there's a non-zero chance further named storms may beckon after this year's Zeta has died down.

Zeta is the 28th named storm of 2020 - the second-most all-time in a single year.

Track for Zeta as of Monday morning.

This year's season has so many storms that the hurricane centre has turned to the Greek alphabet after running out of assigned names.

Forecasters are still expecting Zeta to weaken some before it makes landfall in the USA, but it still could be near or at hurricane strength.

With files from Reuters.

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