Hurricane Delta has been upgraded to a Category 4 based off of now 140 mile per hour wind speeds.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued a special advisory at 10:20AM after initial classification on 120 mile per hour wind speeds during our traditional 10AM update because Hurricane Hunters found 130 mile per hour wind speeds while still flying around in the storm.
Just 48 hours ago, this was being monitored as a tropical wave with HIGH, 90% chances for formation. By 4PM Sunday, the NHC began issuing advisories, and it became Potential Tropical Cyclone Twenty-Six before strengthening to Tropical Depression Twenty-Six at 10PM with 35 mile per hour wind speeds.
Monday morning, Delta further intensified in the Caribbean Sea with 40 mile per hour winds, earning the title Tropical Storm Delta. 12 hours later, wind speeds increased 35 additional miles per hour to 75 miles per hour. Storms become Category 1 Hurricanes once windspeeds are 74+.
Since, Delta has rapidly intensified in these last 17 hours, increasing wind speeds by 65 miles per hour and dropping pressure by about 50 millibars.
Currently, Major Hurricane Delta is still in the Caribbean Sea and has not yet entered the Gulf of Mexico. The good news is Gulf of Mexico water temperatures are a bit cooler, which does help weaken strength ahead a likely Louisiana Gulf Coast landfall by late Friday night, early Saturday morning.
Right now, the storm looks to approach our state as a Category 3 before quickly weakening as it progresses inland. We always say it would be best to prepare for one category higher and hope for the best. “Be prepared, not scared” is the theme as impact confidence will improve over these next 24 hours.