Major Hurricane Delta upgraded to Category 4, continuing to intensify

(WXXV) — Data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that Delta is continuing to rapidly strengthen. The maximum winds have increased to near 130 miles per hour with higher gusts.

This makes Delta a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Delta is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph.  A west-  northwestward to northwestward motion is expected over the next couple of days. A slower northwestward to north-northwest motion is forecast to begin by late Wednesday or Wednesday night.

On the forecast track, the center of Delta is expected to continue to pass southwest of the Cayman Islands through early this afternoon, and move over the northeastern portion of the Yucatan peninsula late tonight or early Wednesday.

Delta is forecast to move over the southern Gulf of Mexico Wednesday afternoon, and be over the southern or central Gulf of Mexico through Thursday.

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.

Although some weakening is likely when Delta moves over the Yucatan peninsula, re-strengthening is forecast when the hurricane moves over the southern Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles.

The estimated minimum central pressure from NOAA reconnaissance  aircraft data is 954 mb.

The forecast track and intensity will likely continue to change over the next few days. Please stay up to date with the latest forecast.

Categories: Featured, Local News, Weather Headlines

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