Hurricane Delta has intensified to a Category 4 storm as it aims to make landfall on the United States’ Gulf Coast later this week.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami announced today that Hurricane Delta has now strengthened to a Category 4 storm. The hurricane has winds reaching 140 mph and is currently 260 miles southeast of Cozumel, Mexico, while moving at a speed of 16 mph.
Overnight, the hurricane went from a Category 1 storm with 80 mph winds to a Category 3 storm today. Later this morning, it was classified as a major Category 4 hurricane with winds reaching 140 mph. Officials expect Delta to intensify, as well as warn that the storm is “dangerous.”
“It’s really intensified sitting over some very warm water,” Fox News Meteorologist Adam Klotz said.
The hurricane will hit the Yucatan Peninsula tomorrow, however is will remain a powerful storm.
“Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours, and Delta is forecast to be an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane when it reaches the Yucatan peninsula Wednesday,” the NHC said in its 11 a.m. EDT update. “Although some weakening is likely when Delta moves over the Yucatan peninsula, re-strengthening is forecasted when the hurricane moves over the southern Gulf of Mexico.”
The Hurricane Center is also warning of a dangerous storm surge raising water levels up to nine feet, along with strong waves, and flash flooding.
Preparation for Delta
In addition, tourists and residents in Mexico have been evacuated from coastal areas. Buses are also taking people inland to government shelters.
After Delta hits Mexico, the hurricane will curve in the Gulf of Mexico and hit the U.S. Gulf Coast on Friday.
As of now, the storm’s path is heading toward Louisiana. However, all the states along the coast should continue to monitor the storm.
[H/T Fox News]