Season not over: Gulf coast storm possible Wednesday

HOLT, Fla., Oct. 24, 2020—The 28th tropical system of the 2020 hurricane season formed in the Caribbean Sea today as a reminder that this season isn’t over yet.

Tropical Depression 28 is forecast to strengthen and approach the northern Gulf coast as Tropical Storm Zeta Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Slow strengthening is forecast during the next 72 hours and the system is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm tomorrow and possibly a hurricane after entering the southern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday.

The NHC forecast is for maximum wind speeds of 75 mph which would make Zeta a category 1 hurricane.

Although the forecast shows the system reaching hurricane strength, the NHC is uncertain given the potential interaction with the Yucatan Peninsula.

Cooler shelf water and increased wind shear will likely weaken the system below hurricane strength as it approaches the northern Gulf coast, according to the NHC.

The depression is moving north-northwest near 2 mph and is expected to gradually turn toward the west-northwest Monday.

Local impacts are possible Wednesday into Thursday with gusty winds, heavy rain and tornadoes, dependending on the eventual track and strength of the storm.

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