Sunday 29 November, 2020

TS Zeta: Heavy rains, strong winds expected in northwestern Caribbean

A Hurricane Watch is still in effect in Mexico for Tulum to Rio Lagartos and for Cozumel. 

Hurricane conditions are possible within the Hurricane Watch area in the Yucatan Peninsula by late Monday. 

A dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 1-3 feet above normal tide levels along the immediate coast in the Hurricane Watch area near and to the north of where the centre makes landfall in the Yucatan Peninsula.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Pinar del Rio Cuba and, in Mexico, Tulum to Rio Lagartos and Cozumel. 

Tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area in the Yucatan peninsula late Monday and could occur in the warning area in Western Cuba on Monday. 

At 11am EDT, the centre of Tropical Storm Zeta was located over the northwestern Caribbean Sea about 290 miles (470 km) south-southeast of the western tip of Cuba and about 275 miles (445 km) southeast of Cozumel, Mexico. 

Zeta is nearly stationary, but a generally northwestward motion is expected over the next couple of days. 

On the forecast track, the centre of Zeta will pass south of western Cuba early Monday and move near or over the northern Yucatan Peninsula or the Yucatan Channel late Monday, move into the southern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, and reach the central Gulf of Mexico by late Tuesday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km) from the centre. 

Some strengthening is forecast to occur during the next 48 hours, and Zeta could become a hurricane by the time it moves near or over the 
Yucatan Peninsula late Monday.

Zeta could be at or just below hurricane strength when it approaches the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday and could bring storm surge, rainfall, and wind impacts to areas from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle. 

Residents in these areas should monitor the progress of Zeta and updates to the forecast.

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