HOLT, Fla., Oct. 6, 2020—The National Hurricane Center’s 5 p.m. EDT update has shifted the five-day cone of uncertainty further west, thanks to an area of high pressure over Florida and the northern Gulf of Mexico.
Northwest Florida, the Eastern Shore of Alabama and Mobile are no longer in the cone.
However, regardless of Delta’s final landfall location and intensity, the projected large size of the hurricane is likely to result in a significant storm surge and wind event for portions of the northern Gulf coast later this week, according to the NHC.
Impacts to this area include rains, winds and possible tornadoes Friday and Saturday.
A tropical storm watch for this area could be posted later tonight.
Hurricane Delta continues to gain strength as it makes its way toward Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
Packing 145 mph winds, Delta is racing west-northwest at 17 mph. Central pressure has dropped to 956 mb.
This forward direction is forecast for the next couple of days until Thursday when the storm is expected to begin to slow down as it makes a directional change to the north.
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 before approaching the northern Gulf coast Friday.
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 Wednesday night and Thursday.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the center with tropical-storm-force winds out to 105 miles.
Forecast wind intensity has been increased to 155 mph during the next 12 hours, just 2 mph below a category 5 storm.
However, by 24 hours, Delta is forecast to weaken, re-strengthen during the next 48 hours, then weaken again as it approaches the northern Gulf coast.
The high over Florida is expected to continue steering Delta west-northwest during the next 36-to-48 hours.
After that time, a developing low over the south-central United States should cause Delta to turn northward, bringing Delta onshore along the northern Gulf coast between 72 and 96 hours.
Forecast wind strength at landfall is 125 mph, making Delta a category 3 storm.
National Hurricane Center forecast