Tropical Storm Zeta may become a hurricane as it takes aim at the Gulf States.
WASHINGTON — Tropical Storm Zeta formed early Sunday and is taking aim at Mexico. The storm may become a Category 1 hurricane and impact the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida this week.
As of Sunday morning, Zeta had 40 mph winds and gusts up to 50 mph. The storm was creeping along at 1 mph, which is very slow for a tropical system.
The storm will get stronger as it passes over Cancun, Mexico late Monday night into Tuesday morning. It will then move into the Gulf of Mexico where it could impact the Gulf States between late Tuesday and Wednesday.
Most models take the storm between Louisiana and Florida, with most guidance favoring Louisiana.
The National Hurricane Center wrote that the storm will be picking up forward speed in the coming days.
“A turn toward the west-northwest and an increase in forward speed are forecast by Monday, followed by a faster northwestward motion on Tuesday. On the forecast track, the center of Zeta will pass south of western Cuba early Monday and move near or over the northern Yucatan Peninsula or Yucatan Channel late Monday, move into the southern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, and reach the central Gulf of Mexico by late Tuesday,” forecasters said in an outlook.
Heavy rainfall is expected along Zeta’s path.
Zeta is the 27th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season. It is the earliest forming 27th named storm in the Atlantic basin. The previous record was Nov. 29, 2005, according to Philp Klotzbach, a hurricane expert at Colorado State University.
Once Zeta makes landfall it will dissipate and remnants will move northeast toward the DMV. Moisture associated with what is left of Zeta could help to fuel some rain in the D.C. Metro area Thursday.
The WUSA 9 Weather Team is monitoring the tropical storm. Please check back for updates as the forecast may change.