PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As of Monday morning, Tropical Storm Zeta has 70 mph sustained winds and located 175 miles southeast of Cozumel, Mexico. It is moving northwest at 9 mph through the western Caribbean and is expected to strengthen to a Category 1 hurricane on Monday, with sustained winds between 74 and 95 mph.
Zeta is expected to make two landfalls this week. The first will be on the Yucatan Peninsula overnight tonight. Then it will exit the Yucatan midday on Tuesday and enter the warm, 80- to 86-degree waters of the Gulf of Mexico where it will re-intensify as it heads toward the northern Gulf Coast making landfall late Wednesday somewhere between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle.
Zeta may be a Category 1 hurricane or stronger at landfall bringing the threat of storm surge, heavy rain and damaging winds. This will be a record-setting 11th landfall for the U.S. in a single season and a record-setting seventh landfall for Louisiana in a single season.
Once over land, Zeta will curve to the northeast and speed up. By Thursday afternoon, Zeta will have downgraded to an area of low pressure. These remnants of Zeta are currently forecast to move over the Delaware Valley Thursday through Friday. If it stays on the current track, it is possible we could see an extended period of rainfall Thursday afternoon through Friday with one inch or more of rain. Localized flooding may become an issue if we receive tropical downpours. Travel by roads may be slow due to ponding. To prevent water back-up at your home, clear away any leaves blocking storm drains or gutters.
Will this affect Halloween weekend? Currently, the rain will exit our area by Friday night and high pressure will arrive with sunshine and drier, cooler air for the weekend. Perfect for all the ghosts and goblins.
By Meteorologist Tammie Souza
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