(WXXV) — As of 11 p.m. Sunday, Tropical Storm Zeta was drifting toward the north-northwest near 2 mph but a faster northwestward motion is expected over the next couple of days, followed by a turn to the north.
On the forecast track, the center of Zeta will move near or over the northern Yucatan Peninsula or the Yucatan Channel late Monday, move over the southern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, and approach the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph with higher gusts. Strengthening is forecast, and Zeta is expected to become a hurricane before it moves near or over the Yucatan Peninsula late Monday.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles from the center.
Expect hurricane watches to be issued on Monday morning. The main concerns will be winds and potential storm surge issues east of the track. Lesser threats, but not zero, will be heavy rain and tornadoes. The storm will be moving fast enough where rain threat may be a lesser issue.
There could be a fairly sharp cutoff on any heavy rain west of the track of zeta as shear impacts the storm. The current track would put heaviest rain on the Mississippi coast.