Delta makes landfall as Category 2 hurricane, could gain strength on path to US Gulf Coast

Weather

A dock is closed to the public before Hurricane Delta arrives near Playa del Carmen, Mexico, early Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Tomas Stargardter)

MIAMI (NewsNation Now) — Delta has made landfall in Mexico Wednesday as an extremely dangerous Category 2 hurricane, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

The hurricane center in Miami said that satellite imagery and radar data suggests that the center of the storm came ashore around 5:30 a.m. local time, with winds of 110 mph. The storm came ashore near Puerto Morelos along the northeastern coast of Yucatan Peninsula.

Forecasters warn that the storm could restrengthen as it heads towards the U.S. Gulf Coast later this week.

Delta had increased in strength by 80 mph in just 24 hours, and its top winds peaked at 145 mph before it weakened as it neared the shore.

(National Hurricane Center)

Forecasters warned it was still an extremely dangerous storm nevertheless, with a life-threatening storm surge that could raise water levels 9 to 13 feet, along with large and dangerous waves and flash flooding inland.

“Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves,” the Center said.

After passing over the Yucatan Peninsula, Delta is expected to make landfall along the central U.S. Gulf Coast around Friday and bring heavy rainfall into the southeastern United States.

The potential for heavy rainfall and flash flooding will increase across portions of the Tennessee Valley, southeastern United States and the central Gulf Coast.

Delta is the earliest 25th named storm to form in the Atlantic, beating the old record of Nov. 15, 2005, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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