23:33 GMT28 November 2020
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    Tropical Storm Zeta has now strengthened into a hurricane as it moves towards Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and is projected to hit the storm-battered US Gulf Coast later this week.

    Hurricane Zeta is currently located about 45 miles southeast of Cozumel, with maximum winds of 80 mph, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in a public advisory Monday evening. The storm system is moving northwest at about 12 mph and is projected to drop up to 8 inches of rain on Mexico and parts of the western Caribbean before hitting the US.

    Forecasters stated they anticipate the storm will likely get stronger before moving through the northern Yucatan Peninsula. Due to the high amount of rainfall and dangerous storm surges, severe flash flooding may occur Tuesday across the Yucatan, the Cayman Islands and central to western Cuba, particularly in urban areas. 

    They are also urging residents located from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle to monitor the storm's progress, as it is currently projected to make landfall within that coastal area on Wednesday. The NHC warns of life-threatening hurricane conditions, telling residents of at-risk areas to follow directions from their local authorities. 

    A hurricane warning is already in effect for parts of the Yucatan. Major rainfall and flooding are expected between Tuesday and Thursday in portions of the central Gulf Coast into the southern Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic US states.

    Zeta is the 11th hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season and the 27th named storm of the season. The World Meteorological Association had to begin using the Greek alphabet to name cyclones after running out of letters in the English alphabet due to the high number of storms this season. 

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    Tags:
    Mexico, US National Hurricane Center (NHC), Gulf of Mexico, Yucatan Peninsula, Hurricane
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