Hurricane Delta Strengthens Tonight

Hurricane Delta is a major hurricane, with winds of 120 mph tonight. Hurricane Hunters have been investigating the storm nearly continuously, keeping a close eye on the storm’s evolution. The storm has fought some wind shear this evening. Shear is always a hurricane’s worst enemy, because that shear pushes storms away from the center. It’s only when the storms cluster near the center that the storm can really intensify.

In recent satellite imagery, those storms are tending to encircle the eye once again. This could lead to even more intensification overnight.

The storm is still expected to make landfall Friday evening along the southwest coast of Louisiana. Blue tarps still cover numerous homes there and debris is still piled high throughout neighborhoods from Hurricane Laura, which hit there just six weeks ago. They don’t even have a radar there because Laura destroyed it. They’re borrowing a mobile radar these days.

Laura is expected to begin weakening just before landfall, due to cooler waters that were churned up by Laura and the expected increase in wind shear once again. Hopefully, both of those factors will be enough to weaken the storm a bit. Every little bit of weakening will certainly help those folks out. Never the less, Hurricane Delta is still expected to be a major hurricane at landfall. Major hurricane status is anything over 111 mph.

Laura will then move our direction and bring us rainfall Friday night and for the weekend. Rainfall totals will likely be in the 1-2 inch range across the plateau, with a few areas possibly picking up a bit more. The risk for severe weather is low but not zero. We always have to watch for the possibility for a brief tornado spin-up with any shower or storm that develops with tropical systems. Again, that risk is low but not zero, since we will be in the most favorable region of the storm for such rotation. Thankfully, the system will be very weak by the time it gets here.

Pictured below is the latest satellite imagery of Hurricane Delta. Notice how the eye is becoming better defined.

I’ll be keeping a close eye on Hurricane Delta on Friday and I’ll keep you posted on anything you need to know.

You all have a good night. Let’s be sure and keep the folks in Louisiana close to our hearts. They’re in for a rough Friday and Friday night.

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