All eyes are on Zeta, as it traverses the Yucatan Peninsula and heads for the Gulf of Mexico. All storm surge, hurricane and tropical storm watches have been upgraded to warnings.
Not much has changed regarding the overall track forecast reasoning as we sit between a mid-level ridge moving eastward across Florida and a developing cut off low and vigorous upper-level disturbance over the southwest. This disturbance will push through Texas on Wednesday as Zeta approaches and the combination of these two systems will force Zeta towards our general area.
There are still several question marks regarding the overall evolution of things in regards to Zeta, specifically regarding the intensity and interaction with the aforementioned approaching front. The current forecast from the National Hurricane Center brings Zeta into the area as a strong tropical storm or a minimal category 1 hurricane. This would be a good time to reiterate that intensity forecasts are always difficult, and preparations for one category higher than forecast are always recommended.
Regardless of the eventual intensity of Zeta, the good news is that the forward speed of the system at landfall should limit the amount of time the area will experience tropical storm or hurricane conditions.