Hurricane Delta Hit The Louisiana Coast With 100 MPH Winds And Surging Seas

These updating maps show forecasts for Hurricane Delta’s powerful winds, rain, and storm surge.

Note: The maps below are no longer being updated.

Hurricane Delta hit the coast of Louisiana at 6 p.m. local time on Friday as a Category 2 hurricane, bringing winds of around 100 mph and a life-threatening storm surge. It made landfall in the same region, near Lake Charles, that was devastated by Hurricane Laura just six weeks ago.

Laura was the most powerful storm to hit Louisiana in more than 160 years. While Delta’s winds were significantly weaker, the storm brought dangerous storm surges to a region that has yet to recover from the heavy damage it suffered from Laura. On Tuesday, Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency.

Forecast track and wind probabilities

Times shown are US Central Time. Peter Aldhous / BuzzFeed News / Via NOAA/NWS

This updating map shows the predicted track and forecast winds from the storm. Use the control at the top right to toggle between the likelihood of tropical storm–force winds (more than 39 mph) and hurricane-force winds (more than 74 mph).

Before entering the Gulf of Mexico, Delta hit Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula as a Category 2 hurricane, downing trees and causing some damage to hotels in Cancún. Prior to weakening just before that landfall, it set a new record for rapid intensification in the Atlantic basin, developing from a tropical depression to a Category 4 hurricane in just 36 hours. Hurricane Laura similarly intensified rapidly and unexpectedly before it hit the Louisiana coast in August.

On Oct. 6, climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University in Lubbock tweeted that rapid storm intensification is a consequence of climate change. One study found that the average time taken for North Atlantic storms to strengthen from a Category 1 to the threshold of a Category 4 storm dropped by 20 hours between 1986 and 2010.

Storm surge warnings and watches

Peter Aldhous / BuzzFeed News / Via NOAA/NWS

This map shows areas currently under storm surge warnings and watches. On Friday morning, the National Hurricane Center forecast surges of up to 11 feet in a region from the Rockefeller National Wildlife Refuge, to the southeast of Lake Charles, to Morgan City, south of Baton Rouge.

Forecast track and rain in the next 7 days

Peter Aldhous / BuzzFeed News / Via NOAA/NWS

“Today through Saturday, Delta is expected to produce 5 to 10 inches of rain, with isolated maximum totals of 15 inches,” the National Hurricane Center warned on Friday morning. “These rainfall amounts will lead to significant flash, urban, small stream flooding, along with minor to major river flooding.”

Delta is the 25th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, and the fourth to be assigned a Greek letter after the preassigned alphabetical names were exhausted. It is only the second hurricane season, after 2005, when Greek letters have had to be used.

See the National Hurricane Center’s advisories for more information and warnings.

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