Hurricane Delta rapidly becomes dangerous Category 4 storm with 130 mph winds

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) — Hurricane Delta is rapidly intensifying. The storm spent less than 30 minutes as a Category 3 storm Tuesday before reaching Category 4 strength.

The National Hurricane Center said at 11:20 a.m. that an NOAA aircraft found that the storm actually had sustained winds of 130 miles per hour, as opposed to the 115 that was reported at 11 a.m.

Yesterday’s forecast didn’t expect Delta to be a Category 4 storm until Thursday. Tuesday morning’s forecast did show that the storm was rapidly strengthening, but even it didn’t think Delta would be this strong until later Tuesday night.

The major hurricane is still located just over 300 miles east-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico. It is moving 16 miles per hour west-northwest

Delta is classified as a major hurricane that could bring extremely dangerous storm surge and hurricane conditions to the Yucutan Peninsula starting tonight and lasting through tomorrow.

The storm is forecast to move over the peninsula Wednesday and into the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday.

The storm could then make landfall again somewhere between the Texas-Louisiana border and the Florida Panhandle, potentially still as a major hurricane, sometime late Friday into early Saturday.

If that happens, Delta would be the first-ever hurricane named after a Greek letter to strike the U.S. mainland.

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In addition to Delta, post tropical cyclone Gamma is currently located at the North Yucatán Penisula.

Gamma is moving slowly southwest. As the storm continues inland it will bring some periods of heavy rainfall. The storm has maximum winds of 35 miles per hour but dissipate by Wednesday.

Stay up to date on the local forecast here.

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