USA

Tropical Storm Zeta becomes a hurricane as it heads toward Gulf Coast

Tropical Storm Zeta strengthened to a hurricane Monday as it continued to make its way toward the US Gulf Coast.

The hurricane was centered about 90 miles southeast of the island of Cozumel Monday afternoon, the US National Hurricane Center said.

It had sustained winds of up to 80 mph as it barreled toward Mexico’s resort-dotted Yucatan Peninsula — where many are still getting aid after Hurricane Delta and Tropical Storm Gamma earlier this month. It is forecast to make landfall in the US mid-week.

Zeta was heading northwest at around 10 mph and forecasters expected it would move over the Yucatan Peninsula late Monday, before heading into the Gulf of Mexico.

The hurricane center said Zeta could bring 4 to 8 inches of rain on Mexico, the Cayman Islands and parts of Cuba before drenching the central US Gulf Coast around mid-week.

It is forecast to make possible landfall anywhere from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle by Wednesday, though it could weaken by then.

A hurricane watch was in effect from Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Mississippi-Alabama state line.

With Post wires

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