MIAMI (AP) — A strengthening Tropical Storm Zeta is expected to become a hurricane Monday as it heads toward the eastern end of Mexico’s resort-dotted Yucatan Peninsula and then likely move on for a possible landfall on the central U.S. Gulf Coast at midweek.
Zeta on Sunday became the earliest ever 27th named storm of the Atlantic season. The system was centered about 175 miles southeast of Cozumel island Monday morning, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. It had maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.
The storm was moving northwest at around 9 mph after being nearly stationary over the weekend. Forecasters said Zeta was expected to move over the Yucatan Peninsula later today before heading into the Gulf of Mexico and then approaching the U.S. Gulf Coast by Wednesday, though it could weaken by then.