Story at a glance

  • The storm made landfall north of Tulum, Mexico, as a hurricane with 80 mph winds and heavy rain before weakening to a tropical storm.
  • Zeta is forecast to strengthen as it makes its way toward the U.S. and is expected to bring hurricane conditions and life-threatening storm surge along parts of the northern Gulf Coast by late Wednesday.
  • Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency on Monday.

Tropical Storm Zeta made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane Monday night in the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico and is now heading toward the U.S. Gulf Coast where residents are bracing for its impact.

The storm made landfall north of Tulum, Mexico, as a hurricane with 80 mile-an-hour winds and heavy rain before weakening to a tropical storm as it moved over the northern Yucatán. 


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Zeta is forecast to strengthen as it makes its way toward the U.S. and is expected to bring hurricane conditions and life-threatening storm surge along parts of the northern Gulf Coast by late Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center

A hurricane warning was in effect from Morgan City, La., to the Mississippi-Alabama border and New Orleans. A storm surge warning has been issued from Intracoastal City, La., to Navarre, Fla. 

In anticipation of Zeta, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency on Monday. 

“While there is some uncertainty in Zeta’s track, it is likely that Louisiana will see some impacts from this storm, and the people of our state need to take it seriously,” Edwards said in a statement Monday. 

“It’s easy to let your guard down late in the hurricane season, but that would be a huge mistake,” he said. 

The storm is the 27th named storm of an unusually active Atlantic hurricane season that is poised to either tie or break the all-time record for the number of storms in a single season. The 2005 season recorded 28 named storms. 

Zeta is also the 11th hurricane of the season. 

Louisiana has been particularly hit hard by this year’s active hurricane season. The state had its strongest storm since 1856 after Hurricane Laura made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane in August. The storm caused substantial damage and killed at least 25 people. Six weeks later, Hurricane Delta hit the state while thousands of evacuees were still in shelters. 

If Zeta reaches the state at or near hurricane strength it will set the record for most named storms in Louisiana in a single season. It would be the fifth named storm, followed by Cristobal, Laura, Marco and Delta. 


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Published on Oct 27, 2020