wild weather

Tropical Storm Zeta strengthening, could hit Gulf Coast as a hurricane

October 26, 2020
Natalia Pescador/Getty Images

A strengthening Tropical Storm Zeta is expected to become a hurricane on Monday, forecasters said Sunday night, and could hit the northeastern tip of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula or western Cuba by late Monday or early Tuesday before heading toward the Gulf Coast.

Late Sunday night, Zeta was 260 miles southeast of Cozumel, Mexico, and is essentially at a standstill, with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph. Zeta is stuck in the western Caribbean between high pressure systems to the east and west, and "just has to sit and wait for a day or so," University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy told The Associated Press. "It just needs anything to move."

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Zeta could reach the central Gulf Coast by Wednesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said, making landfall anywhere from Louisiana to Florida's Panhandle. Zeta is the earliest named 27th Atlantic storm in recorded history. Catherine Garcia

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