Today the Louisiana coast is bearing down for yet another hurricane to impact the Gulf after major Hurricane Laura made landfall as a category 4 storm, and wrecked havoc on parts of the Texas and Louisiana coast just 6 weeks prior. Now, another strong hurricane is expected to make landfall in nearly the same exact area with many still trying to recover from the previous storm.
This tropical system has been spinning in the Gulf of Mexico after originally forming in the Caribbean Sea and moving over the Yucatan peninsula just days ago. As of this morning our 25th named storm to form in the Atlantic this season was sitting at a category 2 hurricane. Now as of this evening, Delta has strengthened once more into a category 3 major hurricane.
Here are the key messages for Hurricane Delta courtesy of the National Hurricane Center:
- “Life-threatening storm surge is expected near and east of where Delta makes landfall on Friday…”
- “A storm surge warning is in effect from High Island, Texas to Ocean Springs, Mississippi.”
- “Hurricane-force winds are expected Friday afternoon and evening somewhere within the Hurricane Warning area between High Island Texas, and Morgan City, Louisiana.”
- “Significant flash flooding and minor to moderate river flooding are likely in parts of Louisiana Friday and Saturday, with additional flooding in portions of the central Gulf Coast into the Lower Mississippi Valley.”
NOTE: Effects of the hurricane can and will be felt outside of the highlighted forecast cone as the highlighted area predicts the highest certainty of where the center of the storm will be.
For the most recent forecast information you can go to the National Hurricane Center’s site HERE
What’s so remarkable about this situation is how identical the paths are between previous major Hurricane Laura and current major Hurricane Delta. Based on the current forecast information, Delta is expected to make landfall at nearly the same location as Laura did. In the graphic below the yellow track shows Laura’s previous path, and the orange line shows Delta’s path so far with the forecast cone to follow.
It’s more than likely that Hurricane Delta remains a category 3 hurricane as it makes landfall on Friday, but the amount of extensive damage that can occur based on the notion that the storm is a weakening category 3 rather than a strengthening category 3 is important to keep in mind. It will work in the areas favor that the storm is a weakening category 3 storm, but nonetheless this storm is still expected to have notable impacts with hurricane force winds, storm surge, and flooding rains.
Let’s also not forget one other notable detail here… let’s take a look at where we stand in the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season as we wrap up the first full week of October:
Now that we’ve gone through Delta on the list, that means we have only 2 more named storms left to MATCH the 2005 record, and 3 more to BEAT the record. Which, by the way, would be breaking all time records since 2005 currently holds the current record for having the most named storms in a single Atlantic hurricane season, ever.
For perspective, the official end to the Atlantic season is Monday, November 30th. This means we’re perfectly capable of breaking this record with plenty of time left in the season, especially since hurricanes can and have occurred outside of the normal season.
For real time photos of Hurricane Delta updated every 5-10 minutes from space, click HERE
~Meteorologist Christine Gregory