Delta strengthens to Cat. 2, expected to hit Gulf Coast as major hurricane

View The Original Article Here

— Delta strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane on Tuesday, making it the ninth hurricane of the season. The storm is also the 25th named storm of the season.

The storm is expected to intensify as it moves over warmer water and make landfall along the Gulf Coast as a major hurricane, according to WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner. When that happens, Delta will be the record 10th storm to make landfall in the U.S. this season.

As Delta enters the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday, it could be a Cat. 3 or Cat. 4 hurricane.

The European Model shows the storm making landfall possibly in Louisiana or Mississippi on Friday.

Hurricane Delta path

According to the National Hurricane Center, while it’s too early to know the exact impacts, there is a risk of dangerous storm surge, wind, and rainfall hazards along the coast from Louisiana to the western Florida Panhandle.

Gardner said remnants from the storm would then move to the northeast, possibly bringing rain to North Carolina on Saturday and Sunday.

Currently, it looks like the heaviest rain will fall in the western portion of the state, while the Triangle could get between 0.5 to 2 inches of rain.

For now, the only local impact expected from Delta is rain.