HOLT, Fla., Oct. 6, 2020—Hurricane Delta has rapidly intensified during the past 24 hours according to the National Hurricane Center.
Wind speeds have increased to 110 mph and the central pressure has dropped to 962 mb.
Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours.
Delta is expected to be a major hurricane when it moves over the Yucatan Peninsula and over the Gulf of Mexico through Thursday.
Landfall along the northern Gulf coast is forecast for late Friday night, early Saturday morning.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center. Tropical-storm-force winds reach outward up to 90 miles.
According to the NHC, Delta is feeding off high deep-layer moisture and very warm and deep waters of the northwestern Caribbean. Little wind shear is allowing Delta to grow in strength.
The forecast is for Delta to intensify to 130 mph in two-to-three days, putting it at the low end of the category 4 range.
Interaction with Yucatan might weaken it some, but conditions are favorable for re-intensification over the Gulf, according to the NHC.
Southwesterly shear and cooler shelf waters closer to the northern Gulf coast should promote weakening and the NHC has reduced the intensity of the storm to 120 mph near landfall, a category 3 storm.
Rain along the coast from Louisiana to northwest Florida should begin Thursday night or Friday, according to the forecast.
According to the National Weather Service in Mobile, heavy rains will be possible for this area, with the potential increasing Thursday night.
Other impacts from Delta include gusty winds, possible tornadoes and flash flooding.
National Hurricane Center forecast