Delta Strengthening While Moving Over The South-Central Gulf Of Mexico

Miami, Fl. (Florida News Network) -At 800 PM EDT, the center of Hurricane Delta was located by an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft near latitude 22.3 North, longitude 90.2 West. Delta is about 550 miles south-southeast of Cameron, Louisiana.

Delta is moving toward the northwest near 17 mph. A northwestward motion with a reduction in forward speed is expected through early Thursday. A north-northwestward motion is expected by late Thursday, and a faster northward to north-northeastward motion is forecast on Friday and Friday night. On the forecast track, the center of Delta will move over the southern and central Gulf of Mexico through Thursday, and approach the northern Gulf coast within the hurricane watch area on Friday. Delta is forecast to move inland within the hurricane watch area by late Friday or Friday night.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 90 mph with higher gusts. Further strengthening is forecast while the hurricane moves over the southern and central Gulf of Mexico through Thursday, and Delta is expected to become a major hurricane again. Some weakening is forecast as Delta approaches the northern Gulf coast on Friday.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles. During the past few hours, a Mexican weather station on Isla Perez, off the north coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, measured a sustained wind of 65 mph and a gust to 90 mph.

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for, High Island Texas to the Alabama/Florida border including Calcasieu Lake, Vermilion Bay, Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, Lake Borgne and Mobile Bay

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for High Island Texas to Grand Isle Louisiana

The estimated minimum central pressure is 973 mb (28.73 inches).

Data and graphic credit: National Hurricane Center