Hurricane Delta has intensified quickly over the last 24 hours, going from tropical storm yesterday morning to category two hurricane this morning. As of the 7 AM advisory, top sustained winds were estimated to be around 110 mph with higher gusts. It’s also moving quickly to the WNW at 15 mph.
The strengthening doesn’t stop as Delta is poised to reach major hurricane status (at least category three) later today, possibly becoming a category four. By tomorrow morning it is forecast to reach the Yucatan Peninsula and Cancun as a very dangerous storm.
After it crosses the Yucatan and into the Gulf, it will continue its WNW trek and make a turn to the north toward the Gulf coast. Right now, the National Hurricane Center is calling for a landfall on the Louisiana coast sometime late Friday or early Saturday as a category two storm. As we’ve seen so often this season, and other hurricane seasons, the track and intensity forecast could, and probably will, change a bit before we get to Friday. It’s best to stay updated to the forecast.
Impacts for Central Alabama are yet to be set in stone, but right now, the biggest impacts for us would be felt on Friday night and Saturday as storm moves inland. If we stay on the eastern side of the low pressure center, we’ll see heavy rain, gusty wind and a severe weather risk. All of this is still up in the air, but details should be ironed out by Thursday. Right now is the best time to prepare for what Delta may bring us.