Hurricane Delta – What You Need to Know [0400 am Update]
Major Hurricane Delta is now less than 24 hours away from an anticipated landfall along Louisiana's coast. In the overnight hours, the storm did strengthen but it is expected to encounter cooler water temperatures and some upper-level wind shear as it nears the coast later today.
While any weakening would be considered a good thing, chances are the system will not weaken significantly and will likely affect Louisiana's coastline as a strong category 2 storm at the very least.
Here is the 0400 am CDT advisory from the National Hurricane Center. Delta was located 200 miles south of Cameron Louisiana. Maximum sustained winds were reported to be 120 mph. The system is moving to the north at 15 miles per hour. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the center of the storm. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward some 160 miles.
Based on current information tropical-storm-force winds, winds in excess of 39 mph, should reach the Louisiana coastline by mid-morning. Those winds will expand into the area as the day wears on.
National Weather Service radar sites are already picking up the outer rain bands from the system as it closes in on the coast. Speaking of rainfall, there will be some significant rainfall accumulations across the area due to the storm.
The potentially heavy rainfall and gust winds pushing water onto the coast will create an opportunity for flash flooding and storm surge flooding as well. Here is what the National Weather Service forecast office is saying about the potential for flooding across the region over the next three days.
The bottom line is this. You have hopefully made your storm preparations and are either on your way or already settled into your safe shelter to ride out the storm. We do anticipate the worst of the weather will start to move into the area in the late afternoon hours. You can expect tropical storm or hurricane conditions, depending on your location, into the evening hours as the storm system moves out of the area by midnight.