Tropical Storm Delta strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane within the past 24 hours with sustained winds of 110 mph.
Forecasters say the storm is continuing to strengthen and will be a major hurricane when it hits the Yucatan Peninsula Wednesday and moves into the Gulf of Mexico Thursday. Major hurricanes are Category 3 or higher, with winds of 111 mph or more. Forecaster predict the storm will reach Category 4 strength within the next three to four days, but it could slow down in the Gulf.
Delta is forecast to approach the northern Gulf Coast late this week. Models have the storm hitting the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts late Friday or Saturday, but landfall could be more to the west.
While there is large uncertainty in the track and intensity forecasts, there is a significant risk of dangerous storm surge, wind, and rainfall hazards along the coast from Louisiana to the western Florida Panhandle beginning Thursday night or Friday. Residents in these areas should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and monitor updates to the forecast of Delta.