According to the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Delta, the 25th named Atlantic storm this year, intensified with catastrophic winds is expected to rip across Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula before then taking aim at the U.S. Gulf Coast later this week.
The storms maximum sustained winds rose to 145 MPH as of the most recent update at 4 PM on Tuesday and are forecast to accelerate further and strike Mexico today as a Category 4 hurricane, the NHC said.
The storm will reenter the Gulf of Mexico tomorrow and intensify.
Delta is expected to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast between Louisiana and Florida by Friday. A U.S. landfall would break a record that dates back to 1916 for the most named storms to hit the United States. Delta’s winds also could bring 30-foot seas to areas off the Louisiana coast according to the NHC.
There have been so many Atlantic storms this year that forecasters have run out of pre-chosen names, turning to the Greek alphabet for the most recent three storms. If Delta hits the coast, it would be the 10th named storm to strike the United States.
While there is still a large cone of uncertainty around the storm’s future track, it has begun to focus on Louisiana, with the centerline currently expected to stay across the eastern half of the state, bringing periods of heavy rain and gusty winds starting late Friday through early Saturday. Some tropical storm force winds will be possible. While an isolated tornado threat can’t be ruled out, the storm’s expected path likely keeps that threat off to our east… but, it is a scenario that will need to be monitored.