Delta Latest Update: negligible push east, and the current conditions weakened some, but overall strength not changed significantly. Landfall currently projected ~9 PM Friday night in Central Louisiana.
Today Delta rapidly intensified, reaching major hurricane status late this morning. This storm is still in the Caribbean, but will be moving into the Southeastern Gulf by tomorrow night. Interaction with the Yucatan Peninsula will weaken it, but favorable conditions in the Southern and Central Gulf will allow further strengthening.
THAT MEANS BY THURSDAY EVENING, THE OUTER EDGES WILL BEGIN MOVING IN, AND OUR FORECAST DRAMATICALLY CHANGES DEPENDING THE STORM’S REACTION TO A FEW FEATURES.
First, a developing low pressure feature is expected to direct Delta northward Thursday. Depending on when this happens Delta could come close enough to cause some major problems, or continue drifting westward and away from South MS. Second, the official forecast has Delta weakening due to increased shear and cooler water immediately before landfall, but may not be enough as the storm continues to strengthen. Third, there are still 5 days before landfall, we saw with Sally how even the best forecasters can have a challenging storm, so it’s best to continue to prepare while watching its development.