Hurricane Delta continues to strengthen in the Gulf of Mexico and will likely make landfall in Southwest Louisiana “Friday afternoon or Friday night,” according to the most recent forecast update from the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
Delta is chugging along in the central Gulf at about 14 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds “near 105 miles per hour,” the NHC said. It’s expected to intensify to major hurricane strength by Friday morning, before weakening slightly before landfall.
The current track remains relatively unchanged since the last NHC update — with landfall expected somewhere near Creole, Louisiana in Cameron Parish. That’s good news for the New Orleans metro region, but bad news for Southwest Louisiana, which is still recovering from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Laura just over one month ago.
Landfall wind speeds are currently forecast to be about 105 miles per hour, which would classify Delta as a Category 2 hurricane when it meets the coast. Heavy rains and life-threatening storm surge will accompany Delta’s strong winds. The highest surge is expected “somewhere between Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge and Port Fourchon, Louisiana,” which could see 7-11 feet of water.
Storm surge warnings are in effect from High Island, Texas to Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
A hurricane warning is in effect from High Island, Texas to Morgan City, Louisiana.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for the following areas:
- San Louis Pass, Texas to High Island, Texas
- Morgan City, Louisiana to the mouth of the Pearl River (including New Orleans and Baton Rouge)
The next full update from the NHC is at 4 p.m. today.