Tropical Storm Delta Heads to the Gulf of Mexico
As Tropical Storm Delta forms in the Caribbean Sea, experts predict Delta will become a hurricane before it hits the United States. As of noon today, The Weather Channel reports Tropical Storm Delta could reach hurricane status in the Caribbean by tonight. Winds are expected to also increase to Category 2 hurricane strength sometime tonight instead of Wednesday as it was originally reported. As Delta makes its way to the Gulf of Mexico, the trajectory is predicted to be headed somewhere between the Louisiana-Texas border and the Florida Panhandle.
In addition to the expected development of Tropical Storm Delta, Tropical Storm Gamma is currently in the Gulf of Mexico but its winds have weakened to 45mph.
NOLA offers that on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, the wind categories are:
- Tropical storm: 39 to 73 mph
- Category 1 hurricane: 74 to 95 mph
- Category 2 hurricane: 96 to 110 mph
- Category 3 hurricane (major hurricane): 111 to 129 mph
- Category 4 hurricane: 130-156 mph
- Category 5 hurricane: 157 mph and higher
If you have been keeping count, Tropical Storm Delta is the 26th tropical storm to form in the Atlantic in 2020. This year alone has brought 8 hurricanes with 2 considered to be major hurricanes to the US. If we encounter another tropical storm in 2020, we might possibly reach a record for the most named storms in a year followed by 2005's record-breaking storm year which got to Tropical Storm Zeta. Our next Tropical Storm would be called Epsilon ( the 5th letter in the Greek alphabet) but for now, all eyes are on Gamma and Delta respectively.
Heavy rain, dangerous storm surge, and gusty winds are all possible, depending on the track and intensity of the system. Experts are advising residents to prepare for the potential of a possible weather emergency. NPR reports that Lousiana Gov. John Bel Edwards specifically advises "All of Louisiana needs to prepare for Tropical Storm Delta," and urges residents to keep an eye on the news and listen for advisories from local officials.
As always, we will continue to keep you updated on the weather as it occurs. Be sure to download our station app for up to the minute weather.
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Photo Credit: NOAA