Delta once again a Category 3 storm; winds up to 120 mph

VIDEO: Delta once again a Category 3 storm; winds up to 120 mph

ORLANDO, Fla. — Hurricane Delta continues to move toward the Gulf Coast. The National Hurricane Center said hurricane conditions and life-threatening storm surge are expected to begin along the coast Thursday evening.

11 p.m update:

Winds have reached up to 120 mph and moving more northerly. It is expected to hit landfall around 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. on Friday as a high-end Category 2 or Category 3 hurricane.

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5:30 p.m update:

Hurricane Delta regained major storm status Thursday afternoon, strengthening back into a Category 3 storm.

Delta has maximum sustained winds of 115 mph as it moves northwest at 12 mph, 345 miles south of Cameron, Louisiana.

A hurricane warning is in effect from High Island, Texas, to Morgan City, Louisiana.

Chief meteorologist Tom Terry said the storm is forecast to make landfall in southwest Louisiana almost exactly where Hurricane Laura hit in August.

“(You) can’t make this stuff up,” he said.

Click here to watch Terry track the storm live on Channel 9 Eyewitness News. Click here to download the free WFTV weather app.

2 p.m update:

The National Hurricane Center released their 2 p.m. update and there were no major changes with this advisory.

It is still forecast for Delta to strengthen to category 3 status by tonight. It is moving northwest at 13mph

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles.

Forecast Track

11 a.m update:

Delta has strength a bit, it is a strong category 2 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph. It is very likely that this system will reach category 3 later on Thursday.

The storm will expand once it is over the Gulf of Mexico, which means a bigger threat for storm surge to the right of the hurricane. Significant storm surge damage, flash flooding, and destructive winds are expected for eastern Louisiana, extending eastward to the Mississippi/Alabama coast.

Delta could produce 4 to 8 inches of rain, with isolated maximum totals of 12 inches across portions of the central Gulf Coast north into portions of the Lower Mississippi Valley. These rainfall amounts will lead to flash, urban, and small stream flooding, along with minor river flooding. Heavy rainfall will eventually spread into the Tennessee Valley, and interior southeastern United States this weekend into early next week.

The National Hurricane Center has been very clear in its messaging: “This is a life-threatening situation. Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions. Promptly follow evacuation and other instructions from local officials."

Storm surge as high as 11 feet for parts of the Louisiana coast is possible.

Tornadoes are possible, mainly east of the center of Delta, across eastern Louisiana and Mississippi starting tonight throughout Friday.

Rain will affect the Ohio Valley through much of the weekend. Rainfall between 1 to 3 inches, some spots with isolated higher amounts.

9 a.m update:

Hurricane hunters are investigating Hurricane Delta as it continues to move toward the northern Gulf Coast States. So far, barometric pressure is been dropping, which is a sign of strengthening.

Residents must finish their preparations by tonight. Weather conditions will quickly deteriorate, winds will increase and rainbands will arrive. Also, storm surge will start for some areas as early as tonight and continue through the day on Friday.

4:50 a.m. update

Hurricane Delta restrengthened into a Category 2 storm overnight. The storm is located near the center of the Gulf of Mexico.

The center of Delta will move over the central Gulf of Mexico Thursday. Delta will move inland within the hurricane warning area Friday afternoon or Friday night.

Delta’s winds are at 100 mph. Forecasters believe the storm will become a major hurricane by Thursday night. It is expected to weaken as it approaches the northern Gulf Coast.

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