Nicondra: Tropical Storm Zeta forecast to track towards northern Gulf

Nicondra: Tropical Storm Zeta forecast to track towards northern Gulf
Infrared satellite imagery of Zeta Sunday afternoon October 25, 2020. (Source: WVUE Weather)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Another tropical storm threatens the northern Gulf Coast by the middle of the week. Tropical Depression 28 became Zeta overnight and will push out of the Caribbean towards the Gulf of Mexico over the next day or so. Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for the Yucatan and Cuba.

Once Zeta reaches the southern Gulf of Mexico it is expected to strengthen to a Hurricane over the warmer waters with relatively favorable upper winds in play. As the system moves north and encounters cooler water and some shear just before landfall, but the current official forecast still calls for a Category 1 hurricane.

The storm will be steered by high pressure building back across the Gulf from the east and an upper low moving towards the region from the southwest. We may see some heavy rain ahead of the system Tuesday because of the influence of the larger weather systems.

Wednesday is when the greatest impacts from Zeta will be felt. The timing on when and how it will interact with the upper low and trough will shape the exact forecast and impacts. We can expect gusty winds and rain for Wednesday and will have to monitor the track more closely for storm surge effects.

The good news is that while the upper low and front approaching will draw Zeta north it will also swiftly move the system away from the area on Thursday.

Behind the front expect cooler and comfortable conditions for the end of the week into the Halloween weekend.

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