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article imageHurricane Delta explodes into dangerous Category 4 storm

By Karen Graham     Oct 6, 2020 in Environment
Hurricane Delta rapidly strengthened into an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm on its path toward Louisiana, forecasters said Tuesday morning.
Delta started out as a Potential Tropical Cyclone 26 by the National Hurricane Center on Sunday. It quickly strengthened and just before 8:00 a.m. Monday morning became a tropical storm. In only 24 hours, Hurricane Delta has quickly gone from a strong Category 3 storm to an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm, with winds of 130 mph.
Delta is now the 25th tropical storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. Delta is the first major hurricane to churn over the Atlantic basin during the month of October since Hurricane Michael in 2018. And Delta's intensification was the most extreme in 15 years for an October hurricane.
At the 11:00 a.m. NHC advisory, Delta was moving along to the west-northwest at 16 mph (26 kph) and was located about 315 miles east-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico - headed towards the Yucatan Peninsula and the Gulf of Mexico.
On the forecast track, the center of Delta is expected to continue to pass southwest of the Cayman Islands this afternoon, and move over the northeastern portion of the Yucatan peninsula late tonight or early Wednesday. Delta is forecast to move over the southern Gulf of Mexico Wednesday afternoon, and be over the southern or central Gulf of Mexico through Thursday. is reporting that even with the slight shift to the west over the next few days, Hurricane Delta is still expected to make landfall in southeast Louisiana on Friday night or Saturday morning as a Category 2 or Category 3 hurricane. A number of parishes have already announced where the public can fill sandbags in preparation for the coming storm.
Delta is a a very compact hurricane, with an eye only six miles across. This means hurricane-force winds extended outward only up to 25 miles from the storm’s center, but that small eye is a major indication of a strengthening storm.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said early Tuesday that Louisianans should have a game plan now as the fourth storm of the season to threaten Louisiana. "Now is the time for Louisianans to prepare [for] Hurricane #Delta. This storm will affect Louisiana and everyone needs to prepare accordingly,” Edwards tweeted Tuesday morning.
A road blocked off trees after Hurricane Laura in Lake Charles  Louisiana
A road blocked off trees after Hurricane Laura in Lake Charles, Louisiana
Category 5 is a possibility
Forecasters say there is a possibility that Delta could reach Category 5 in strength, with winds of 155 mph or even more. Should Delta reach that strength, it would be the first hurricane this season to reach Category 5 force. Hurricanes Laura and Teddy peaked at Category 4 intensity.
A hurricane warning is in effect for: Tulum to Dzilam, Mexico and Cozumel, Mexico. A tropical storm warning is in effect for: the Cayman Islands including Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, Cuba province of Pinar del Rio, Isle of Youth, Punta Herrero to Tulum, and Dzilam to Progresso.
Digital Journal will update readers this evening as we follow the track of Hurricane Delta.
More about hurricane delta, extremely dangerous, central gulf coast, category 4, could peak to a category 5
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