Hurricane Delta’s Winds Hit 120 MPH As Storm Approaches Louisiana Coast

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Hurricane Delta is looming over the northern Gulf of Mexico Friday, as it heads toward landfall on Louisiana’s coast.

NOAA/NESDIS/STAR GOES-East


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Hurricane Delta is projected to make landfall east of the Texas-Louisiana border, close to the spot where Hurricane Laura devastated communities in August.

NOAA/Esri/HERE/NPS


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Hurricane Delta is projected to make landfall east of the Texas-Louisiana border, close to the spot where Hurricane Laura devastated communities in August.

NOAA/Esri/HERE/NPS

Hurricane warnings center on the coast, but they extend well inland because of Delta’s large size. Tropical storm warnings cover an even deeper area, up to Louisiana’s northeast border with Arkansas.

The storm will likely weaken slightly before making landfall, as it is forecast to cross over cooler waters and enter less favorable wind conditions as it nears the Louisiana coast.

«Regardless, Delta is forecast to be near major hurricane intensity when it makes landfall and significant impacts are expected,» the National Hurricane Center said.

Storms of similar intensity commonly cause major damage to homes and snap or uproot trees, along with causing widespread power outages.

Delta’s strength has sharply fluctuated since it became a hurricane on Monday — including an explosive growth early on, from 40 mph Monday morning, to a Category 4 hurricane on Tuesday with winds of 130 mph.

Despite that early strength, the storm was relatively small. But it has grown larger as it crosses the Gulf of Mexico’s warm waters.

Delta’s center is now projecting hurricane-force winds outward for up to 40 miles, and tropical-storm-force winds for up to 160 miles — increasing the area for potential damage from the storm and any tornadoes it might generate on land.

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