LOUISIANA — Hurricane Delta is expected to make landfall along the southwest Louisiana coast Friday evening. The center of the storm is expected to push through the same parts of the state that saw Major Hurricane Laura just six weeks ago.
Based on the current track, Hurricane Delta will make landfall within 15 miles of where Hurricane Laura made landfall on August 27th around 2 a.m. This will bring flooding rains, destructive wind, tornadoes and storm surge to the same area that had to go through Laura.
Hurricane Delta is expected to be a category 2 hurricane when it makes landfall later on Friday. Sustained winds will be around 110 mph with higher gusts. Winds will be about 40 mph lower than Laura when it made landfall, which is great news. The problem many will encounter is cleaning up and rebuilding from Laura is still in the early stages, meaning additional damage will be easier to come by with Delta because those structures are weaker and more open.
The state of Louisiana has now experienced five named storms, including Delta. It began with Cristobal on June 7, which brought severe weather to West Michigan a few days later. After a two month break with storms for the state, Marco made landfall as a weak tropical storm on August 24. All eyes, however, when Marco was making landfall, was on the strengthening storm named Laura.
Laura became a major hurricane on August 26 in the Gulf of Mexico. It struck the southwest coast of Louisiana a day after becoming a major hurricane as a category 4 storm with sustained winds of 150 mph. This was the first time Louisiana was hit by a Category 4 hurricane in it's history. Several cities in its path saw major damage from the storm and will now face Delta.
The other storm outside of the four mentioned above was Beta. This storm made landfall on the Texas coast on September 22 but brought gusty winds and heavy rain to the state of Louisiana in the days after landfall.
With Delta a named storm, we are only three Greek letters away from having the most storms in a single year in Atlantic history. The only other year to use the Greek Alphabet was 2005 when we made it all the way to Zeta.
If Delta were to be retired, it would be retired as Delta-2020 as the Greek letters cannot be retired on their own.