The National Hurricane Center in Miami issued a graphic Monday morning indicating Hurricane Zeta’s projected trajectory.

Moving slowly and erratically, Tropical Storm Zeta has intensified and is due to make landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula as a Category 1 hurricane.

The path strongly resembles Delta’s, where residents are still recovering from damaging floods. Areas with high water tables will struggle to absorb more rainfall.

The hurricane is forecast to sideswipe most of Yucatan state. A tropical storm warning was issued for the western third of the state including Merida and Progreso. Authorities have issued a hurricane warning, however, from Tulum to Río Lagartos. A yellow, low-level alert applies to the northeast, east, southeast, south, north and center of Yucatan and on the coast from Telchac Puerto to El Cuyo.

Storm Zeta is poised to hit the Yucatan Peninsula’s Caribbean coast as a Category 1 hurricane. Photo: National Hurricane Center

Still lingering Monday morning in the Caribbean Sea, 420 km southeast of Cozumel with sustained winds of 95 kph / 59 mph and gusts of 110 kph / 68 mph, Zeta will reach hurricane strength by noon. It is moving at 9 mph / 15 kph toward land somewhere between Playa del Carmen and Puerto Morelos, where it is forecast to land late Monday night.

It will hit the Gulf of Mexico by late Tuesday morning between Dzilam Bravo and Río Lagartos, forecasters said.

But the trajectory is not written in stone. Experts warn that the storm is prone to changes in its projected path.

In the United States, communities on the other side of the Gulf of Mexico were urged to be on guard. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said that citizens who are recovering from hurricanes Laura and Delta should monitor the storm.

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