As of the 10:00 am update from the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane and Storm Surge Watches have been issued for portions of the northern and northwestern Gulf Coast. You will also notice that there is a faster forward motion now projected on the latest forecast track as landfall along the Louisiana coast is now expected to occur around midday on Friday. Here is the latest:
STORM SURGE WATCH
From High Island, Texas, to the Alabama/Florida border including Calcasieu Lake, Vermilion Bay, Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, Lake Borgne, and Mobile Bay.
From High Island, Texas, to Grand Isle, Louisiana.
TROPICAL STORM WATCH
From San Luis Pass to the west of High Island, Texas, and from east of Grand Isle, Louisiana, to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, including New Orleans, along with all of Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.
DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK
At 10:00 AM CDT, the center of Hurricane Delta was located around 65 miles west-southwest of Cabo Catoche, Mexico, and is moving toward the northwest near 17 MPH. A northwestward motion with a reduction in forward speed is expected over the next 24 hours. A north-northwestward motion is expected by late Thursday, and a faster northward to north-northeastward motion is forecast on Friday and Friday night. On the forecast track, the center of Delta will move over the southern Gulf of Mexico this afternoon, be over the southern or central Gulf of Mexico through Thursday, and approach the northern Gulf coast within the hurricane watch area on Friday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 105 MPH with higher gusts. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles. Re-strengthening is forecast when the hurricane moves over the southern and central Gulf of Mexico through Thursday, and Delta is expected to become a major hurricane again. Some weakening is forecast as Delta approaches the northern Gulf coast on Friday. The estimated minimum central pressure is 975 MB (28.80 inches).
POTENTIAL STORM SURGE AMOUNTS
• Pecan Island, LA to Port Fourchon, LA including Vermilion Bay…7-11 ft
• Cameron, LA to Pecan Island, LA…4-7 ft
• Port Fourchon, LA to Ocean Springs, MS including Lake Borgne…4-6 ft
• Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas…3-5 ft
• Ocean Springs, MS to AL/FL border including Mobile Bay…2-4 ft
• High Island, TX to Cameron, LA including Calcasieu Lake…2-4 ft
• Sabine Lake…1-3 ft
• Port O’Connor, TX to High Island, TX including Galveston Bay…1-3 ft
IMPORTANT KEY MESSAGES
Delta is expected to grow in size as it approaches the northern Gulf Coast, where there is an increasing likelihood of life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds beginning Friday, particularly for portions of the Louisiana coast. Storm Surge and Hurricane Watches are in effect, and residents in these areas should follow advice given by local officials.
Flash, urban, small stream, and minor river flooding is likely Friday through Saturday from portions of the central Gulf Coast northward into portions of the Lower to Middle Mississippi Valley. As Delta moves farther inland, additional heavy rainfall is expected in the Ohio Valley and Mid Atlantic this weekend.