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Tropical Storm Zeta set to cross Yucatan Peninsula as hurricane

Cancun, Riviera Maya, Q.R. — Tropical Storm Zeta is set to cross the Yucatan Peninsula Monday evening after developing into a storm in the western Caribbean Sunday morning.

As of 6:00 a.m. Monday, Conagua (Cuenta oficial del Servicio Meteorológico Nacional) of the government of Mexico reported that Zeta remains approximately 285 kms southeast of Cozumel and is associated with a low pressure channel extended over the southeast causing intense punctual rains in Chiapas, Yucatán and Quintana Roo.

Alerts have been issued for varying parts of the northern region of the state. Forecasters anticipate Zeta will gradually intensify as it crosses the Yucatan Peninsula as a strong tropical storm or a Category 1 hurricane. A hurricane watch remains in effect for the northeastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula.

“Moisture from Zeta will bring rounds of heavy rainfall all the way from the eastern Yucatan Peninsula to areas as far east as South Florida through Tuesday,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll.

Photo: AccuWeather

According to Accuweather, the heaviest rainfall is forecast for the eastern Yucatan Peninsula where 100 to 200 mm of rain is expected along with wind gusts of 95 km/h to 130 km/h (60 to 80 mph).

On Sunday, state governor Carlos Joaquin announced that Quintana Roo is preparing for the arrival of Tropical Storm Zeta as a Category 1 hurricane and that preventative measures are being put into place including the suspension of activities from 2:00 p.m. Monday and the evacuation of Punta Allen, Isla María Elena, Banco Chinchorro and Punta Herrero.

The only time a storm has been named Zeta was in December of 2005, when Tropical Storm Zeta formed on December 28 in the Atlantic and churned until January 6 of 2006. The 2020 season has now tied that year with the same record number of storms.

The passage of Zeta will be the region’s third storm in a month with the first passing of Tropical Storm Gamma in early October followed by Hurricane Delta days later. Hurricane Delta was forecast to hit as a Category 4 hurricane, but instead, landed the Cancun, Riviera Maya region as a Category 2.

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