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As of the 5 a.m. update, Delta has slightly weakened but still stays extremely powerful as it takes aim at Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, which will take a direct hit.
Hurricane Delta is moving northwest at 17 mph with sustained winds sitting at 115 mph and gusts reaching as high at 140 mph. The storm is currently 35 miles east-northeast of Cozumel, Mexico.
Forecasters expect Delta to slam into beach resorts from Tulum to Cozumel with an extremely dangerous storm surge of up to 13 feet and even higher waves. Storm surge and hurricane watches will likely be issued for the U.S. gulf coast starting Wednesday. Western Cuba will also see heavy rain through Thursday.
Once it leaves Mexico, it’s expected to regain Category 4 status in the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico. It looks like it will make landfall in the United States around Friday, bringing heavy rainfall across the southeastern United States.
If that happens, Delta would be the first-ever hurricane named after a Greek letter to strike the U.S. mainland. The cone of uncertainty puts Delta making landfall somewhere in Louisiana.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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