Tropical Storm Zeta formed over the Caribbean over the weekend and could be near or near hurricane force by the time it makes landfall on the Gulf Coast on Wednesday, the National Hurricane reported on Sunday. Center.
The Hurricane Center in Miami turned Zeta into a tropical storm from a tropical depression early Sunday. This is the 27th named storm in an extremely active Atlantic hurricane season, approaching a record set in 2005, when 28 storms became strong enough to have names.
Zeta is expected to become a hurricane before making landfall on Wednesday, said Dennis Feltgen, spokesperson and meteorologist for the Hurricane Center in Miami. It‘s set to deliver another devastating blow to the northern Gulf Coast, an area that was battered by Hurricane Laura in late August, Hurricane Sally in September and Hurricane Delta this month. These storms caused extensive property damage and were blamed for several deaths.
The Hurricane Center said in a advisory Sunday that Zeta “could be at or just below the strength of the hurricane” when it hits the Gulf Coast. Mr Feltgen said Zeta could bring storm surges and high winds and rain “over a wide area of the northern Gulf Coast” from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle.
Zeta was hovering over the Caribbean on Sunday, Mr Feltgen said. “It’s getting organized,” he added.
Tropical storm conditions are expected in parts of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula late Monday and early Tuesday, and similar conditions are possible over the far west of Cuba on Monday evening, the center said.
Zeta joins a long list of storms this year, several of which have destroyed parts of the Gulf Coast. “They still face the legacy of Laura, Sally and Delta,” Mr. Feltgen said.
Hurricane Laura hit Lake Charles, Louisiana in late August; Hurricane Sally hit the Florida Panhandle with a deluge of rain in September; and this month, Hurricane Delta made landfall in Louisiana less than 20 miles east of where Laura struck, hitting the area as she was still trying to recover.
“There is no doubt that there is a lot of hurricane fatigue, but we are still going to have to prepare,” for Zeta, said Feltgen. Last week Hurricane Epsilon, which passed Bermuda and did not make landfall in the United States, became the 10th hurricane this season.
With Tropical Storm Wilfred last month, the Hurricane Center exhausted its list of names, turning to the Greek alphabet for the first time since 2005.
In that year, 28 storms became strong enough to have names. The National Hurricane Center named 27 storms during the season and identified a 28th qualifying storm in a post-season analysis: a subtropical storm that briefly formed in October 2005 near the Azores, an archipelago secluded in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.