Hurricane Delta strengthens to ‘dangerous’ Category 4 storm, threatens MS Gulf Coast
Hurricane Delta is now a Category 4 storm and threatens to bring dangerous weather conditions to the Mississippi Gulf Coast later this week, the latest forecasts show.
As of Tuesday morning, the storm packed maximum sustained winds of 130 mph as it barreled west-northwest toward the Yucatan Peninsula and western Caribbean islands, according to the National Hurricane Center. It is set to approach the northern Gulf Coast as “major hurricane” by late Thursday, bringing the potential for dangerous rain and flash flooding to the region.
1120 AM EDT UPDATE: NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft report that Hurricane #Delta has rapidly strengthened into a dangerous category 4 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph. More info: https://t.co/tW4KeGdBFb pic.twitter.com/3vxNAOAN0l
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) October 6, 2020
“There’s an increasing likelihood of life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds, especially along the coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi,” NHC official said. “Residents in these areas should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and monitor updates to the forecast.”
Delta is expected to weaken briefly as it moves over land, but forecasters said warm conditions of the Gulf are just right for the storm to re-strengthen and develop into “an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane.”
Portions of the Central Gulf Coast, Tennessee Valley and southeastern US also face the threat of heavy rain as the system moves inland later in the week, according to the forecast.
Tropical storm-force winds are likely to hit the region Thursday night or early Friday, forecast maps show.