Tropical Storm Zeta, expected to strengthen to hurricane status within hours, may bring significant rainfall to the region later this week.
Zeta is located was located over the northwestern Caribbean Sea about 130 miles southeast of Cozumel, Mexico, at midday on Monday, Oct. 26.
Zeta is moving toward the northwest near 10 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said.
On the forecast track, the center of Zeta will move near or over the northern Yucatan Peninsula later Monday afternoon or Monday night, move over the southern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, Oct. 27, and approach the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday, Oct. 28.
Maximum sustained winds are near 70 miles per hour with higher gusts. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles from the center. Strengthening is forecast to take place, and Zeta is expected to become a hurricane later in the day on Monday or by Tuesday morning, the National Hurricane Center said.
The latest projected path for Zeta, released Monday, shows its remnants should arrive in the Northeast on Thursday, Oct. 29. (See image above.)
Heavy rainfall could lead to localized flooding on Thursday and parts of the region, especially at or near the coast, could see as much as 3 inches of rain.
More rain is expected on Friday, Oct. 30.
Zeta is the earliest named 27th Atlantic storm in what has been a historically active hurricane season.
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