TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tropical Storm Zeta formed in the Caribbean early this morning. It forecast to meander for the next day before strengthening and moving into the Gulf. It is expected to become a hurricane in the southern Gulf before weakening some and approach the northern Gulf Coast.
On this forecast track, it will stay well west of Tampa Bay and minimal indirect impacts will be felt locally. It will bring storm surge, heavy rain and tropical storm force winds to Louisiana for the fifth time this year, as well as Mississippi, Alabama and portions of the Florida panhandle.
It is not forecast to become a very strong storm as it will encounter drier air in the Gulf of Mexico, cooler water temps in the northern Gulf. Upper level winds will also increase as it moves into the central and northern Gulf which will help to weaken the storm before landfall.
Locally, temperatures will remain well above normal today and through most of the work week. Highs today will top out near 89 degrees. There is a 20% chance for a few passing downpours, especially south of I-4.
Temperatures will stay well above normal for the next five days with highs near 90 degrees. Rain chances will increase to 20% each afternoon.
A weak cold front will pass through Friday with a few showers. It is forecast to bring slightly cooler and drier air for next weekend.