Hurricane Delta once again became a major hurricane on Thursday, with top winds of 120 mph as of 10 p.m. CT. The hurricane has regained much of the fury it lost crossing the Yucatan Peninsula on Wednesday.
In an update Thursday morning, the NHC said that Delta is expected to "grow in size" throughout the day on Thursday before bringing dangerous conditions to the Gulf Coast early Friday morning.
Storm surge and hurricane warnings are already in effect for parts of the Gulf Coast, particularly along the Louisiana shoreline.
Louisiana cities likely to see damaging winds from the hurricane include Alexandria, Lafayette, New Iberia, and Morgan City, according to the National Hurricane Center.
On Thursday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Hunters found that Delta had a 30-mile wide eye.
Government hurricane forecasters say they expect Delta to continue strengthening until early Friday morning, but then begin to weaken as strong shear is expected to affect the hurricane.
Louisiana has taken the brunt of the impact of the 2020 hurricane season. Hurricanes Marco and Laura have already made landfall in the state, causing inland flooding and significant damage along the coast. Hurricane Sally also did significant damage nearby Gulf Shores, Alabama, when it made landfall in September.
The Associated Press reports that Delta marks the sixth time this year that evacuations have been ordered from Louisiana's barrier islands.
Delta luckily spared two Mexican resort towns, Cancún and Playa del Carmen, from deaths or major damage after the storm made landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula, CNN reports.