Hurricane Delta has made landfall just to the south of Cancun this morning near Puerto Morelos as a category 2 storm. It weakened this morning to 110 mph winds as it bore down on the Yucatan Peninsula. An observation site in Cancun reported 84 mph sustained winds with gusts to 104 mph.
As of 4:00 PM, the storm has weakened to a category 1 with winds sustained up to 85 mph. It's expected to intensify once again as it continues over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Just 48 hours ago, Delta was a tropical storm, making this the largest increase in wind speed in a 24-hour time frame since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. This is also the strongest Greek alphabet named hurricane, ever. Once it makes landfall, Delta will set the record for the number of landfalls in the United States for a single season. Hurricane season ends November 30.
If the storm maintains its forecast strength, it could make landfall on the Louisiana coast with winds between 110-125 mph late Friday afternoon or late in the evening.
If the storm makes landfall in Louisiana, it will be the 4th named storm to hit the state this year, setting a new record for the number of storms in one year. The previous record was set in 2005 with three major storms hitting the state.
As the storm tracks northeast across Louisiana and Mississippi, it could bring winds between 60-70 mph and rainfall amounts between 4-8" through the weekend. Locally higher amounts will be possible near the center of the storm track.
Delta is the earliest 25th named storm in the Atlantic. The last time 'Delta' was used was on November 15, 2005.
If the active pattern continues raging on as it has this year, we'll be on pace to meet 2005's record of 28 storms in a year.
This storm will have little impact on Mid-Missouri outside of an increase in cloud cover for the eastern half of the state by the middle of the weekend.