Tropical Storm Zeta Develops Into Hurricane, Heads Toward Mexico’s Yucatan Before US

Tropical Storm Zeta Develops Into Hurricane, Heads Toward Mexico’s Yucatan Before US

(CNN)Zeta strengthened back into a hurricane early Wednesday as it approaches the Gulf Coast, bringing life-threatening storm surge with it.

A tropical storm warning and a tornado watch is in effect for Northwest Florida.

Forecasters say the storm is expected to make landfall in southeast Louisiana on Wednesday afternoon. The tropical storm and Hurricane Zeta leaves after its passage to Louisiana, which started from the Yucatan, Cozumel, to the Gulf of Mexico.

"Because Zeta is moving so quickly the threat of major flooding rains are not on the table, with 3-6" of rain likely over roughly a 2-3 hour period.which will likely cause some localized road flooding issues, but hopefully nothing more.

The storms this season have so far veered away from New Orleans, but this time the low-lying city appeared squarely in the hurricane's path. Officials have said the biggest concern with this storm is the high winds but have also said that the storm is moving fast.

"Along the northern Gulf Coast, the combination of a risky storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline", warns the NHC.

"Complete any preparation ASAP!" the National Weather Service of New Orleans tweeted. Authorities are encouraging residents to gather enough emergency supplies to last at least three days. Also, Zeta will become the sixth hurricane to make landfall in the continental USA this season, tying with 1886 and 1985 for the most continental US landfalling hurricanes in a single Atlantic season on record.

It then rapidly moves north east as it gets scooped up by an intense trough in the jet stream.

Heavy rainfall is expected from the Central Gulf Coast into the Tennessee Valley.

The latest forecasts show the remnants of Hurricane Zeta making their way into NY late Thursday, and that Canadian air could arrive at just the right time to turn the hurricane's rain into snow early Friday morning.

Zeta is yet another storm for the history books. The storm roared ashore Wednesday afternoon. If it does comes onshore in Louisiana, it will be the state's fifth landfalling storm this year.

Zeta broke the record for the earliest 27th named Atlantic storm - set on 29 November 2005 - and is the 11th hurricane of the season.

There have been so many storms this season that the hurricane centre had to turn to the Greek alphabet after running out of assigned names.

It has been a particularly active hurricane season.

There are expected to be tropical rain-force wind impacts this Wednesday, as long as the storm's track continues and moves to southeastern Louisiana.

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