Zeta strengthened back into a hurricane as it moved back across the southern Gulf of Mexico overnight.
At 4 a.m., the center of Hurricane Zeta was located near latitude 25.1 North, longitude 91.8 West. Zeta is moving toward the north-northwest near 17 mph. A turn toward the north is expected soon, and a faster northward to north-northeastward motion is expected to begin later this morning.
On the forecast track, the National Hurricane Center says, the center of Zeta will approach the northern Gulf coast this morning and make landfall in southeastern Louisiana this afternoon. Zeta will move close to the Mississippi coast this evening, and move across the southeastern and eastern United States on Thursday.
Data from an Air Force Hurricane Hunter Aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 85 mph with higher gusts. Some additional strengthening is forecast this morning, and Zeta is expected to reach the northern Gulf Coast as a hurricane before weakening over the southeastern United States on Thursday.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles.