Hurricane Delta is one of the most rapidly intensifying cyclones on record. The storm is already a cat 4 hurricane, with winds of 130 mph. Further strengthening is likely and Delta could be a cat 5 hurricane when it impacts the Cancun area of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico by Wednesday morning.
The storm will weaken after interacting with land, but as soon as it reemerges into the southern Gulf of Mexico, there is no reason for it not to rapidly intensify once again. The storm will then move northward as a very powerful hurricane, making landfall along the Louisiana coastline Friday night.
After that, the storm will move rather rapidly northeastward, right toward Middle Tennessee. This scenario would bring heavy rainfall, very gusty winds, and possibly some isolated tornadoes to the plateau by the weekend.
The forecast track is still a bit uncertain, so stay tuned for any adjustments in that track. At this time, the chances of our being impacted, to some degree, are very high.
If you have plans to the Gulf Coast for Fall break please pay very close attention to this storm. Any adjustment to the track could have big impacts on your vacation plans. Right now, Florida looks fine. It’s still worth keeping an eye on, though. The good news is that it is a faster moving storm, so some of you would be right to delay the trip a day or two, if that seems necessary.
Hurricane Delta looks very impressive on satellite. Should Delta be so severe that its name must be retired, it will be the first time a Greek alphabet-named storm has been retired. I’m betting this is one storm few people will ever want to remember. FYI, if you have any friends or family down in the Cancun area right now, please advise them to leave. You can still leave today but that window of opportunity is closing. The last time a cat 4 hurricane hit that area tourists were stranded down there for over a week in absolutely miserable conditions (no power, no water, etc.).
I’ll keep an eye on it for you all!