Tropical Depression No. 28 became Tropical Storm Zeta early Sunday morning, as predicted, making the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season the fastest to get to 27 named storms.
But by 5 p.m. Sunday, forecasters said Zeta is likely to become a hurricane by late Monday as it passes south of western Cuba early Monday and moves near or over the northern Yucatan Peninsula, or the Yucatan Channel, later in the evening Monday. Zeta is then expected to move into the southern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday morning, and reach the central Gulf of Mexico by later in the day. On Wednesday, it’s expected to reach the northern Gulf Coast.
According to the National Hurricane Center’s 11 p.m. update, Mexico has issued a hurricane warning for the Yucatan Peninsula from Tulum to Rio Lagartos, including Cozumel.
Cuba remains under a tropical storm warning. Early week rains in South Florida, including the Keys, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, parts of central and western Cuba area “might lead to flash flooding in urban areas.”
Forecasters say Zeta is “nearly stationary” about 270 miles south southeast of Cuba’s western finger and 260 miles southeast of Cozumel. Zeta’s got 60 mph maximum winds.
The 2005 season got to 27 named storms plus one unnamed storm that wasn’t discovered until post-hurricane season analysis. Even counting that storm, 2005 would’ve reached 27 named storms Nov. 29, when 2005’s Hurricane Epsilon became a tropical storm.
And now Epsilon is back in 2020, for now as a “powerful” tropical depression over the north Atlantic. There are currently no coastal watches or warnings in effect.