FIRST ALERT: Delta once again a major hurricane

FIRST ALERT: Delta once again a major hurricane
Forecast track (Source: WMBF)

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Delta has remains a category 3 hurricane as it approaches southwest Louisiana.

Hurricane Delta
Hurricane Delta (Source: WMBF)

At 7:00 AM, the center of Hurricane Delta was located near latitude 27.5 North, longitude 93.8 West. Delta is moving toward the north near 12 mph, and this motion is expected to continue today followed by a north-northeastward motion by tonight.

Forecast Track
Forecast Track (Source: WMBF)

On the forecast track, the center of Delta will move inland within the hurricane warning area this evening. Maximum sustained winds are near 120 mph with higher gusts. Delta is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Slow weakening is expected to begin as Delta approaches the northern Gulf coast later today, with rapid weakening expected after the center moves inland.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles . The latest minimum central pressure estimated from NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft data is 958 mb.

Reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 120 mph with higher gusts. Delta is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Additional strengthening is possible tonight. Some weakening is possible as Delta approaches the northern Gulf coast on Friday, with rapid weakening expected after the center moves inland. Delta is forecast to come ashore just 10 to 15 miles east of where category 4 Hurricane Laura made landfall 6 weeks ago.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles.

STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach as high as 11 feet on the central Louisiana coastline.

WIND: Hurricane conditions are expected along the central and western Louisiana coastline by Friday afternoon or evening, with tropical storm conditions expected within the area by early Friday.

RAINFALL: Friday through Saturday, Delta is expected to produce 5 to 10 inches of rain, with isolated maximum totals of 15 inches, from southwest into south-central Louisiana. These rainfall amounts will lead to significant flash, urban, small stream flooding, along with minor to major river flooding. For extreme east Texas into northern Louisiana, southern Arkansas and western Mississippi, Delta is expected to produce 3 to 6 inches of rain, with isolated maximum totals of 10 inches. These rainfall amounts will lead to flash, urban, small stream and isolated minor river flooding. As Delta moves farther inland, 1 to 3 inches of rain, with locally higher amounts, are expected in the Tennessee Valley and Mid Atlantic this weekend.

TORNADOES: There is a risk of a few tornadoes beginning late tonight and continuing through Friday over southern portions of Louisiana and Mississippi.

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