In the span of less than 24 hours, Delta strengthened from a tropical storm into a power category 4 hurricane with its sights set on the Yucatan Peninsula.
Moments after reporting Delta had become a major hurricane Tuesday morning, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that the storm had strengthened further into category 4 status. According to a reading from a Hurricane Hunter aircraft, Delta has maximum sustained winds of 130 mph, as of Tuesday at 10 p.m. CT. The storm's top winds dropped slightly from 145 MPH.
The NHC says Delta will bring "extremely dangerous storm surge" and other hurricane-like conditions to the Yucatan throughout the day Tuesday before briefly making landfall on Wednesday.
The Yucatan Peninsula is home to many Mexican resort towns, including Cancún and Playa del Carmen. Belize, a coastal country on the southern part of the peninsula, may also feel effects from Delta.
While the NHC notes that there is "large uncertainty in track and intensity forecasts," Delta is currently expected to make landfall on the Louisiana coastline as a hurricane late in the week. Current forecasts have Delta making landfall anywhere from western Louisiana to the western Florida panhandle on early Saturday morning.
Louisiana has taken the brunt of the impact of the 2020 hurricane season. Hurricanes Marco and Laura have already made landfall in the state, causing inland flooding and significant damage along the coast. Hurricane Sally also did significant damage nearby Gulf Shores, Alabama, when it made landfall in September.
Delta became the 25th named storm on Monday in what has been an extremely active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.