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Tropical Storm Zeta Strengthens, Forecast to Become 11th Hurricane of the Season

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Topical Storm Zeta continued to strengthen as it lingered over the Northwestern Caribbean Sea Sunday afternoon.

Zeta is currently located 305 miles south-southeast of the western tip of Cuba, with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, according to the latest update from the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The storm, which is the 27th named storm of the 2020 Hurricane season, is expected to pass south of western Cuba and move over the Yucatan Peninsula late Monday where it is forecast to become the 11th Hurricane of the season.

Meteorologists forecast that the center of the storm will keep far away from South Florida.

Nonetheless, Zeta's broad counter-clockwise circulation is pulling up lots of moisture. Expect on and off rain today, but plenty of breaks as well. Highs will top out at 85° and a Flood Watch has been extended until 8 p.m. Monday.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Cozumel and Tulum to Rio Lagartos, Mexico. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Pinar del Rio, Cuba.

Zeta broke the record of the previous earliest 27th Atlantic named storm that formed Nov. 29, 2005, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.

This year’s season has so many storms that the hurricane center has turned to the Greek alphabet after running out of official names.

Forecasters said Zeta could bring 4 to 8 inches of rain to parts of the Caribbean, Mexico, southern Florida and the Florida Keys through Wednesday. Isolated totals up to 12 inches were possible.

Additionally, Hurricane Epsilon was moving quickly through the northern portion of the Atlantic Ocean. Forecasters said it would become a post-tropical cyclone later Sunday. Large ocean swells generated by the hurricane could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions along U.S. East Coast and Atlantic Canada during the next couple of days.

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