How Hurricane Zeta rapidly strengthened before slamming New Orleans

Hurricane Zeta wasn’t supposed to be this bad. 

On Saturday (Oct. 24), National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecasters looking at the weather system — called Tropical Depression Twenty Eight — wrote that it would likely become a tropical storm, but that cool waters in the Gulf of Mexico made further strengthening unlikely. Now, it’s Wednesday (Oct. 28), and Zeta is hitting Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane — the record-breaking fifth tropical cyclone to make landfall in Louisiana and the ninth to make landfall in the Gulf of Mexico this year.

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