Delta Blows Up into Cat 4 Sooner than Expected; High Island Now in Forecast Cone

11 AM CDT 10/6/2020 – In the last hour, Delta’s winds have increased from 115 to 130 MPH, according to Harris County Meteorologist Jeff Lindner. “Delta is now an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane with the central pressure down to 954mb. It is likely that Delta will continue to intensify and could reach 145-155mph late today before landfalling near Cancun tonight,” says Lindner.

Forecasts Continue Shifting West

Forecasters predict that Delta will cross over the tip of the Yucatan and head north toward the central Gulf Coast. The NHC has shifted the forecast track slightly to the west at their 10:00 AM advisory. “The western edge of the forecast cone is now near High Island,” explained Lindner.

Forecast track for Hurricane Delta as of 11 AM EDT Tuesday October 6. Source: National Hurricane Center

Landfall Still Most Likely in Louisiana

“Forecast models, with the exception of the ECMWF, continue to indicate that Delta will turn toward the north of the NW Gulf of Mexico and likely landfall along the central or SE LA coast late Friday. Given the potential for a stronger hurricane in the southern Gulf of Mexico, it is possible that Delta could approach the US coast as a major hurricane.”

Various model forecasts as of 11 am CDT.

Increasing shear and cooler waters near the northern Gulf coast are expected to cause some reduction in wind speed. But Delta should still be a dangerous hurricane when it nears the northern Gulf coast.

Storm 90 Miles Wide

According to the National Hurricane Center, “Although some weakening is likely when Delta moves over the Yucatan peninsula, re-strengthening is forecast when the hurricane moves over the southern Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km).”

Delta continues to exceed expectations. Just last night, forecasters predicted Delta would become a major hurricane by Wednesday, not Tuesday.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 10/6/2020 based on information from the NHC and HCFCD

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