Hurricane Delta to Hit Yucatan as Major Storm Before Reaching U.S.

Hurricane Delta, currently a Category 3 storm, is expected to hit Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula Wednesday. Later in the week, Delta is forecast to hit the U.S. Gulf States with storm-surge flooding, damaging winds and heavy rainfall.

Right now, Delta is in the Caribbean Sea, located roughly equidistant from Honduras and Cuba. The maximum sustained winds are 130 mph, and the storm is moving to the west-northwest at 16 mph. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the storm is expected to make landfall in the Yucatan early Wednesday morning; it could then reach the Gulf States late Thursday into Friday morning.

The NHC says that “extremely dangerous storm surge and hurricane conditions” are expected along portions of the northern Yucatan Peninsula. Heavy rainfall is expected in the Cayman Islands, western Cuba and the Yucatan through midweek. A hurricane warning is in effect from Tulum to Dzilam, Mexico, including Cancun and Cozumel, according to The Weather Channel. When it reaches Mexico, Delta is expected to be a major hurricane—likely a Category 3 or 4.

According to NOAA's (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Best Track Database, Hurricane Delta could be the strongest storm to hit Cancun in 15 years.

The NHC adds that there is “an increasing likelihood of life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds” along the coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi beginning Friday. Residents from the extreme upper Texas coast and Louisiana to the western Florida Panhandle should be checking frequently for important forecast updates and have their hurricane plans ready to go, The Weather Channel says.

Despite weakening as it reaches the U.S. Delta could still hit the coast as a Category 2 storm.

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