A tropical depression formed Saturday near the Gulf of Mexico, aiming for the Louisiana-Mississippi coast, the National Hurricane Center said.
Forecasters predicted Tropical Depression 28 would strengthen to a tropical storm Sunday and a hurricane Tuesday but then revert to a tropical storm by landfall Wednesday somewhere between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle. If it rises to a tropical storm, it will be named Zeta.
This year has seen a particularly busy hurricane season with 25 named storms, which is just two shy of the 2005 record.
As of the NHC’s 10 p.m. forecast update, Tropical Depression 28 is about 240 miles south-southeast of the western tip of Cuba and 270 miles east-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico. The storm is stationary with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph.
On the forecast track, the center of the depression is expected to pass south of western Cuba early Monday and move over the northern Yucatan Channel late Monday. It will then move into the southern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday and reach the central Gulf by late Tuesday.
The storm could bring storm surge, rainfall, and wind impacts to areas from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle as it approaches the northern Gulf Coast as a tropical storm Tuesday night and Wednesday, forecasters said. Residents in these areas should monitor the progress of the depression and updates to the forecast.
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The latest storm makes the seventh time this year that Louisiana has been placed in the hurricane center’s forecast path, informally the “cone of uncertainty.” The others: Cristobal, Marco, Laura, Sally, Beta and Delta, which blasted Cameron Parish on Oct. 9.
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The season ends Nov. 30, but storms can form any time. The 2020 season has already been the busiest in 15 years.