WEST MONROE, La. — (10/6/2020) In a less than two days, Delta has transformed from a new tropical depression to a violent Category 4 hurricane. As of the 4pm update, maximum sustained winds were measured at 145 miles per hour.
Delta will impact the Yucatan Peninsula later tonight through early Wednesday before emerging in the Gulf of Mexico tomorrow afternoon. Some strengthening is possible at that point. Closer to landfall, an approaching trough will steer Delta northward toward the Louisiana coastline. The trough will also produce southwesterly wind shear. The shear, combined with cooler waters near the coast, should lead to a slow weakening phase prior to landfall.
The storm’s fast forward motion will being Delta inland swiftly, leading to potential ArkLaMiss impacts. It should be noted that Delta’s impacts in our area will ultimately depend on the storm’s path, leading to a wide array of conditions across the region this weekend.
Delta’s center is currently expected to stay across the eastern half of the ArkLaMiss, bringing periods of heavy rain and gusty winds starting late Friday through early Saturday. Some tropical storm force winds will be possible. While an isolated tornado threat can’t be ruled out, the storm’s expected path likely keeps that threat off to our east… but, it is a scenario that will need to be monitored.
Areas west of the storm’s center will still see impacts, albeit more limited. Winds will still be gusty at times through Saturday afternoon, and rain is likely; however, rain totals should be much more limited.
In regards to ArkLaMiss impacts, the forecast is still in its infancy and changes are expected. Residents for most coastal states are encouraged to stay informed with the latest forecast information as Delta approaches the coast this weekend.