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Tropical storm Zeta forms, could reach US Gulf Coast by midweek

It is the 27th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season, tying 2005 as the most active hurricane season on record, according to the National Weather Service.

If it makes landfall in Louisiana, Zeta would become the fifth named storm to do so this year, setting a record.

Zeta currently has sustained winds of 40 mph and is moving north at only 1 mph. The storm is about 295 miles southeast of Cozumel.

It is forecast to strengthen and to become a hurricane by early Tuesday.

Zeta is forecast to make landfall Wednesday along the US Gulf Coast, between central Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle, as a strong tropical storm.

“While the current NHC forecast indicates that the system should weaken below hurricane strength before landfall, users are reminded that strong tropical storms can still produce significant storm surge, rainfall, and wind impacts along the northern Gulf Coast” the National Hurricane Center said Sunday.

Fast Facts: 2020 Hurricane Season

On Saturday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said state officials were monitoring the new system.

The state was hit hard this month by deadly Hurricane Delta.
“We are monitoring this system and you should be too. It’s too soon to know what will form or where it will go, but this is an important reminder to stay vigilant because Hurricane Season is not over,” Edwards said in a tweet.

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

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

Could set record for Louisiana storms

If Zeta makes landfall in Louisiana, it would be the fifth named storm to do so this season. That would be a new record for that state for the most landfalls in a season.

The previous landfalls were Cristobal, Laura, Marco, and Delta.

Also, it would tie the record for most landfalls in any state for a season (Florida in 2005).

These stats only count for one landfall per storm per state.

Zeta also would be the 11th named storm to make landfall in the continental US this season, which is the most in one year. Previous storms were Bertha, Cristobal, Fay, Hanna, Isaias, Laura, Marco, Sally, Beta and Delta.

It is unusual for multiple storms to hit the same spot in the same season, but it happens.

For instance, Frances and Jeanne both hit the southern end of Hutchinson Island in Florida in 2004. Harvey hit Louisiana in 2017 relatively close to where Cindy had come ashore.

Two storms have made landfall within 30 miles of each other, including Hermine and Colin in 2016 in Florida, Ike and Edouard in 2008 in Texas, and Katrina and Cindy in 2005 in Louisiana.

CNN’s Haley Brink contributed to this alert.


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