Miami, Fl. (Florida News Network)-At 800 PM EDT, the center of Hurricane Delta was located by a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft near latitude 19.2 North, longitude 84.5 West. Delta is about 215 miles east-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico, about 240 miles east-southeast of Tulum Mexico moving toward the west-northwest near 17 mph.
A west-northwestward to northwestward motion is expected over the next couple of days. A slower northwestward to north-northwestward motion is forecast to begin on Thursday, and a northward motion is expected Thursday night and Friday. On the forecast track, the center of Delta will move over the northeastern portion of the Yucatan peninsula late tonight or early Wednesday.
Delta is forecast to move over the southern Gulf of Mexico Wednesday afternoon, be over the southern or central Gulf of Mexico through Thursday, and approach the northern Gulf coast on Friday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 145 mph with higher gusts. Delta is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some strengthening is possible before the center reaches the coast of the Yucatan peninsula early Wednesday.
Although some weakening is likely when Delta moves over the Yucatan peninsula, re-strengthening is forecast when the hurricane moves over the southern Gulf of Mexico Wednesday night and Thursday.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km).
The estimated minimum central pressure is 956 mb (28.23 inches).
Over the next few days, Delta is expected to produce 2 to 4 inches of rain, with isolated higher amounts, across portions of the Cayman Islands and western Cuba. This rainfall may result in areas of flash flooding and mudslides.
Later this week, Delta is expected to produce 4 to 8 inches of rain, with isolated maximum totals of 12 inches, over portions of the central Gulf Coast. These rainfall amounts may lead to flash, urban and minor river flooding. Heavy rainfall will eventually spread into the Tennessee Valley, and interior southeastern United States as well.
Data and graphic credit: National Hurricane Center