Delta sprang to life as a tropical storm Monday morning and could even turn into a major hurricane just before it hit the central U.S. Gulf Coast on Friday.
As of 2 p.m. EDT Monday, Delta was 256 kilometers southwest of Negril, Jamaica, moving west at 11 km / h, according to the latest update from the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) .
The center of Delta is forecast to move away from Jamaica later today, approach or over the Cayman Islands early Tuesday, and move closer to western Cuba and the Yucatan Channel on Tuesday afternoon. or evening. Delta is expected to move to the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday evening, and over the south-central Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, ”the NHC said.
Maximum sustained winds increased to nearly 95 km / h, with stronger gusts. Further strengthening is expected in the coming days, with Delta expected to be a hurricane as it moves near or over western Cuba.
As the NHC calls on Delta to become a Category 2 hurricane, it is possible that it will even reach Category 3 status before it reaches the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast, according to the Weather Network meteorologist, the Dr Doug Gillham.
“Delta is a pretty serious threat to the central Gulf Coast of the United States,” says Gillham.
Monitoring for hurricanes and tropical storms is in effect in Cuba, while a tropical alert is in place for the Cayman Islands, including Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.
Through the middle of the week, Delta is expected to produce 75-125mm of rain with isolated maximum totals of 200mm across Jamaica and western Cuba. This precipitation could lead to major flash floods and landslides. Over the Cayman Islands, 50-100 mm of precipitation will be possible.
Additionally, Delta is expected to produce a dangerous storm surge that could raise water levels up to 1.5 meters above the tide along the immediate coast of Isle of Youth and along the southern coast of western Cuba, near and to the right of where the center is. landing.
THE GAMMA WEAKENED AS IT TURNS TOWARDS MEXICO
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Gamma is losing steam moving very slowly across the Gulf of Mexico, heading towards Mexico at a snail’s pace.
At 1 p.m. EDT on Monday, Gamma was located 220 kilometers northeast of Cozumel, Mexico, almost stationary, drifting southwest at just 7 km / h. It currently has maximum sustained winds of nearly 65 km / h with stronger gusts.
“Central Gamma is forecast to move inland on the northwest coast of the Yucatan Peninsula on Tuesday evening and stay inland until Thursday,” NHC said.
Tropical storm watches and warnings are still in effect for parts of the Mexican coast, but gradual weakening of Gamma is expected over the next few days.
The storm still has life, however. Gamma is expected to produce an additional 75-150mm of precipitation by midweek, with isolated maximum amounts of 200mm in parts of Yucatan, Campeche and Tabasco. This precipitation can produce significant flash floods.
With these storms, the 2020 hurricane season is approaching unknown territory. The current record for the most active season was set in 2005, which went to Zeta, named after the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet after the list of traditional names was exhausted. This storm actually persisted for a few days in January before finally dissipating.