MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Tropical Storm Zeta is forecast to be a fast-moving hurricane as it nears southeastern Louisiana.

At 11 p.m. Tuesday, the center of the storm was 390 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

Zeta is moving toward the northwest near 15 mph.

A turn toward the north is expected overnight, and a faster northward to north-northeastward motion is expected on Wednesday.

On the forecast track, the center of Zeta will move over the central Gulf of Mexico overnight.

Zeta is forecast to make landfall in southeastern Louisiana Wednesday afternoon, move close to the Mississippi coast Wednesday evening, and move across the southeastern and eastern United States on Thursday.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 70 mph with higher gusts.

Zeta is forecast to become a hurricane again overnight and reach the northern Gulf Coast Wednesday as a hurricane on Wednesday afternoon before weakening over the southeastern United States on Thursday.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles from the center.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:

  • Morgan City, Louisiana to the Mississippi/Alabama border
  • Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Metropolitan New Orleans

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Mississippi/Alabama border to Okaloosa/Walton County Line, Florida

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

  • West of Morgan City to Intracoastal City Louisiana

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for:

  • Intracoastal City Louisiana to Navarre, Florida
  • Lake Borgne, Lake Pontchartrain, Vermilion Bay, Pensacola Bay, and
    Mobile Bay

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Zeta was the earliest named 27th Atlantic storm recorded in an already historic hurricane season.

The National Hurricane Center had to turn to the Greek alphabet because there have been so many storms this 2020 season, it ran out of official names.

The last time the Greek alphabet had to be used in an Atlantic hurricane season was in 2005, the most active season on record, which had 28 named storms, including Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.

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