Hurricane Zeta hit Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula on Monday evening with winds of up to around 80mph, but weakened to a tropical storm with wind speeds of 70mph as it crossed over land overnight.
The storm is expected to reach the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, before then travelling to the US overnight and through Wednesday.
The storm is expected to increase in speeds as it makes its way to the US and is likely to be classified as a Category 1 hurricane with winds of up to 85 mph by Wednesday night.
Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards issued the warning on Monday and told residents: “We’re doing everything we can to prepare for the storm.”
He added: “We must roll up our sleeves, like we always do, and prepare for a potential impact to Louisiana.”
Mr Edwards said that the National Guard has boats and trucks prepared for rescue missions, and has water and food ready to give to those caught up in the storm.
New Orleans officials have also announced a voluntary evacuation for residents outside of the city’s levee system from 6pm on Tuesday.
A tropical storm warning has also been issued for Alabama and Florida’s panhandle on Wednesday.
Zeta is expected to bring between two to four inches of rain, while isolated areas in Louisiana, Alabama and southern Mississippi are forecast to see six inches, according to Fox News.
“We're going to see the potential for tornadoes as well, especially east of the centre where it comes on shore,” meteorologist Janice Dean told Fox & Friends.
Zeta is the eleventh hurricane to hit the US this season and is the earliest 27th named storm to form in the Atlantic, beating the previous record of 29 November 2005. On average, the US experiences six hurricanes and 12 named storms a year, according to the Associated Press.
Zeta is scheduled to become the fifth storm to make landfall in Louisiana this year, as the area has been badly hit during the hurricane season.
Louisiana has already been hit by storm systems Cristobal, Laura, Marco, and Delta this year.
Just three weeks ago, both the Yucatan Peninsula and Louisiana were hit by the Category 4 Hurricane Delta, which caused significant damage to wildlife and property in both areas.