Tropical Storm Zeta barrels towards Mexico's Yucatan coast, U.S. NHC says

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Zeta churned towards Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula on Sunday and was expected to hit the coast late on Monday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said, weeks after another hurricane caused chaos in the tourist region.

Zeta is forecast to strengthen after leaving the peninsula and bear down on the U.S. Gulf Coast in coming days, potentially interfering with oil industry output and setting fresh records for hurricane landfalls in southern United States.

“Zeta could be at or just below hurricane strength when it approaches the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday, and could bring storm surge, rainfall, and wind impacts to areas from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle,” NHC said.

NHC said tropical conditions are expected in northern Yucatan Peninsula on Monday and early Tuesday, with hurricane conditions possible.

Zeta is about 255 miles (410 km) from the island of Cozumel in Mexico, with maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (64 km per hour), NHC said.

Hurricane Delta, which battered Mexico’s Cancun city this month, caused chaos in the surrounding tourist resorts, disrupting plans by businesses and Mexico’s government to try and revive the pandemic-hit tourism industry.

Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Nick Zieminski