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7 am WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Zeta’s faster northward to north-northeastward motion expected

At 7 a.m. Wednesday, the center of Hurricane Zeta was centered over the Gulf of Mexico approximately 265 miles southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River and approximately 295 miles south-southwest of New Orleans.

Zeta is moving toward the north near 17 mph.

A faster northward to north-northeastward motion is expected to begin later this morning.

On the forecast track, 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.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 90 mph with higher gusts. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles.

Some additional strengthening is forecast to occur this morning, and Zeta is expected to reach the northern Gulf Coast as a hurricane before weakening over the southeastern United States on Thursday.