ORLANDO, Fla. — 11:00 p.m. update:
Hurricane Delta’s winds decreased slightly. It is still a powerful Category 4 Hurricane with maximum sustained winds at 130 mph.
Delta is forecast to make landfall near Puerto Morelos, and just north of Playa del Carmen early Wednesday morning.
The impacts remain the same. Dangerous and destructive winds that will leave catastrophic damage and life-threatening storm surge.
Scroll down to read about impacts to Mexico and what it means for Central Florida.
5:45 p.m. update:
Hurricane Delta remains an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm as it heads toward the northeastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Its track shifted slightly west along the north Gulf Coast.
The hurricane has maximum sustained winds of 145 mph.
The storm’s center is about 215 miles east-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico, and is moving west-northwest at 17 mph.
Hurricane and storm surge watches could be issued for the northern Gulf of Mexico coast as early as Wednesday.
Winds are forecast to increase to 155 mph before making landfall.
Chief meteorologist Tom Terry is tracking the storm live on Channel 9 Eyewitness News.
Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps.
2 p.m update:
Hurricane Delta continues to strengthen as it approaches Cancun. Hurricane hunters have found maximum sustained winds of 140 mph.
The latest satellite imagery shows that Delta is finally trying to form an eye. It is located around 250 miles southeast of Cancun.
The next complete update will be released at 5 p.m. ET.
Hurricane Delta continues to intensify as it makes its way toward the Gulf of Mexico. The storm was quickly updated from category 3 at 11 a.m. to category 4 at 11:20 a.m. after the National Hurricane Center received new data from hurricane hunters which showed maximum sustained winds of 130 mph.
The storm remains over the northwestern Caribbean Sea. Hurricane Hunters said the storm is still intensifying and is expected to become a major hurricane when it nears the Yucatan Peninsula.
Weather will deteriorate quickly over the Yucatan Peninsula starting Tuesday evening. The current track places Cancun on the path of Delta’s eye.
Delta will likely make landfall early Wednesday morning, just southwest of Cancun. Maximum sustained winds could be above 130 mph at landfall.
Storm surge will be catastrophic for the northeastern tip of the Yucatan, including the northern portion of the state of Yucatán and Quintana Roo. Water levels could rise 6 to 9 feet above the ground and move well-inland.
Rainfall could reach up to 12 inches for the northern portion of the peninsula. Life-threatening flash flooding is very probable.
WHERE IS IT GOING AFTERWARD?
Delta is expected to travel over the western Gulf of Mexico as it makes a turn northward, then northeastward, toward the Louisiana coast.
Water temperatures are cooler than how they are over the western Caribbean, mainly due to all the mixing that has been produced by previous recent storms.
Also wind shear will increase a bit. This could help dent Delta a bit. As of Tuesday late morning, the hurricane is forecast to make landfall as a category 2 storm early Saturday morning.
Residents along the Louisiana coast too extreme northwestern Florida should finish preparations by Friday evening. Winds will increase rapidly and conditions will be dangerous to be outdoors.
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 Pensacola, Florida.
COULD DELTA AFFECT CENTRAL FLORIDA?
There are no direct impacts to Central Florida expected from this system. Delta will remain far enough west of Florida to not bring a threat for severe weather directly associated with this system. As the track has shifted more west, and away from Florida, the weather pattern has become less active int he forecast as far as rain and storms.
It will still be very muggy, the temperatures will be very warm this week, which will make the heat indices feel as if they were in the mid to upper-90s. Keep this in mind if you are doing any work outdoors.
The west coast of Florida will have dangerous conditions. There could be a threat of large waves and a high risk for rip currents.
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