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Zeta Nearing Hurricane Strength in the Caribbean

Photo: Florida Storms

Tropical Storm Zeta is rapidly intensifying and closing in on hurricane intensity on its approach to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

Hurricane Warnings are in effect there in anticipation of the storm’s landfall late tonight. Meteorologist Ray Hawthorne says Zeta is then expected to turn northward toward the Gulf coast by midweek.

“Zeta is on track to be the eighth landfalling tropical storm or hurricane on the U.S. Gulf coast this season. Landfall is most likely between Louisiana and Alabama on Wednesday as a strong tropical storm or category 1 hurricane, but heavy rain, tornado, and surge impacts are expected away from the landfall location.”

Ray says tropical storm winds are likely to arrive in the western Florida Panhandle late Wednesday.

Storm surge, flooding, and isolated tornadoes are also possible over the Panhandle Wednesday into Wednesday night before the storm departs for the Carolinas on Thursday.

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