Delta strengthens into a hurricane, threatens Gulf coast

Hurricane Center

Delta is now a hurricane and is rapidly strengthening over the Caribbean Sea.

Meanwhile, Gamma weakened to a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico and should become post-tropical Monday night.

Here’s the latest from the NHC’s updates:

Hurricane Delta

The NOAA Hurricane Hunters flew into Delta on Monday afternoon and found it rapidly strengthening, according to the NHC. By 8 p.m. ET, maximum sustained winds had increased to 75 mph with higher gusts. Additional rapid strengthening is expected in the coming days.

It’s moving west northwest at 8 mph. The storm is expected to pass the Cayman Islands early Tuesday and approach the Yucatan Peninsula and Yucatan Channel Tuesday afternoon or evening.

According to the NHC, Delta is expected to be a major hurricane when it nears the Yucatan Peninsula.

“Dangerous storm surge and hurricane conditions are expected within portions of the northern Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and are possible in extreme western Cuba beginning Tuesday night,” the NHC said.

After Delta passes the peninsula, it’s expected to move into the southern Gulf of Mexico either late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning and reach the south-central Gulf of Mexico Wednesday. It’s forecast to approach the northern Gulf Coast late this week as a hurricane.

As the storm moves northeast inland, it’ll get picked up by a front and bring rain to the Carolinas for the weekend. The exact track of the remnant low will be key to which part of the Carolinas see the heaviest rain.

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