Delta jags westward; expected to strengthen before hitting SW LA.
By ALAN SMASON
Hurricane Delta lost some of its punch on Wednesday after slamming into the Yucatan peninsula, but is rapidly intensifying again today as it moves into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The latest (10 a.m. CDT) notification from the National Weather Service puts the center of the storm at 24.0 North and 92.7 West, or 400 miles south of Cameron, LA, moving to the northwest at 14 m.p.h.
Hurricane warnings now exist between High Island, TX to Morgan City with highest winds registered as between 105 and 165 m.p.h. A Tropical Storm Watch exists between the mouth of the Pearl River in Mississippi westward to San Luis Pass in Texas, which includes the Greater New Orleans area.
Authorities believe New Orleans will largely be spared of high winds and storm surge, although the North Shore may see elevated levels of up to 2 feet as the storm moves its way through the state from Friday afternoon to early Saturday morning..
The system is listed as a strong Category 2 storm, but is expected to increase today to a Category 3 storm as it churns the warm waters of the gulf and then may lessen in strength as it approaches the Louisiana coast.
Weather forecasters predict landfall now will be eerily close to the same track followed by Hurricane Laura in late summer between Lake Charles and Cameron. Laura was the strongest hurricane on record to hit the Louisiana coastline and authorities say now that the massive strong surge was as high as 17 feet in some areas.
All of Louisiana is under an Emergency Declaration approved by President Trump yesterday.