Tracking the Tropics: Hurricane Delta Making Landfall in Louisiana Friday

Tracking the Tropics

WEDNESDAY, 10 P.M. CDT–Hurricane Delta continues churning in the Gulf of Mexico tonight as a category 1 hurricane with 90 mph winds. The minimum central pressure has dropped to 972mb, indicating Delta is strengthening. It’s a fast moving storm–moving WNW at 17 mph.

A Hurricane Warning is now in effect for a large chunk of Southern Louisiana–along & South of I-10 from the Atchafalaya River to the border with Texas, and to the North to include Alexandria. We’ve reached a very good agreement that the most likely region for landfall will be Southwest Louisiana–in almost exactly the same spot that Hurricane Laura made landfall back on August 27th.  Those with interests along the I-10 corridor between Lake Charles & Baton Rouge are strongly encouraged to heed the advice of local emergency officials.

Above is the latest forecast track for Delta from the National Hurricane Center.  Again, landfall is expected Friday afternoon in Southern Louisiana as a high-end category 2 hurricane.  As we move into Saturday, Delta will continue moving quickly to the North-Northeast through parts of Mississippi, likely producing torrential rainfall, tropical storm-force winds, and the possibility of brief spin-up tornadoes in the storm’s immediate path.

More specifics on our forecast should be ironed out over the next 24 hours.  For now, here are the main takeaways:

Here’s the latest storm surge forecast along the coast of Louisiana. The highest surge may exceed 9 feet along & South of LA-82 from Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge to Marsh Island.

Extreme rainfall is also likely with as much as 8 to 12″ of rain across much of Louisiana, Eastern Arkansas, & Western Mississippi as Hurricane Delta as the storm comes ashore. Above is the latest rainfall forecast.

Our main concern in Central Alabama will be the low-end possibility for brief tornadoes with the storms set to arrive Saturday morning into Saturday afternoon. We’re still pretty far out in time for specifics, but we should be able to say with confidence in the next 24 to 48 hours what we’ll be looking at with that.

That’s all for now!  We’ll be steadily providing updates on Hurricane Delta’s progress as it slowly edges closer to the coast tomorrow.  Be sure to download the CBS 42 Storm Team Weather App for up to the minute alerts in YOUR town, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for more weather updates from across the South.  Have a great evening!

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