Hurricane Delta slightly weakened, Cuba & Mexico still on high alert
The weather is quickly deteriorating over the northeast Yucatan coast as Hurricane Delta continues to pummel the area with life-threatening storm surge.
In its 5am advisory on Tuesday, the National Hurricane Centre warns that strong winds will be arriving soon.
- A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Tulum to Dzilam, Mexico, and Cozumel while a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Cuba province of Pinar del Rio, Punta Herrero to Tulum, Mexico, and Dzilam to Progreso, Mexico.
The NHC said life-threatening storm surge will raise water levels in areas of onshore winds by as much as 8 to 12 ft above normal tide levels along the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula from Cabo Catoche to Progresso, and 6 to 8 ft above normal tide levels along the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula from Tulum to Cabo Catoche. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.
For storm information specific to your area, please monitor products issued by your national meteorological service.
Interests along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast should monitor the progress of Delta. Hurricane and Storm Surge Watches will likely be issued for a portion of this area later today.
At 4am CDT, the centre of Hurricane Delta was located just offshore of the Yucatan peninsula about 35 miles (55 km) east-northeast of Cozumel, Mexico. Delta is moving toward the northwest near 17 mph (28 km/h).
On the forecast track, the centre of Delta will move over the northeastern portion of the Yucatan Peninsula during the next few hours.
Delta is then forecast to move over the southern Gulf of Mexico this afternoon, be over the southern or central Gulf of Mexico through Thursday, and approach the northern Gulf coast on Friday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 115 mph (185 km/h) with higher gusts -a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km). Little change in strength is expected to occur before the centre reaches the coast of the Yucatan peninsula during the next few hours.
Although some weakening is likely when Delta moves over the Yucatan peninsula, re-strengthening is forecast when the hurricane moves over the southern Gulf of Mexico Wednesday night and Thursday, and Delta could become a category 4 hurricane again by late Thursday. Weakening is expected as Delta approaches the northern Gulf coast on Friday.
Through early Thursday, Delta is expected to produce 4 to 6 inches of rain, with isolated maximum totals of 10 inches, across portions of the northern Yucatan Peninsula. This rainfall may result in areas of significant flash flooding.
The NHC said in addition to 2 to 4 inches of rain, with isolated higher amounts, are expected across portions of western Cuba. This rainfall may result in areas of flash flooding and mudslides.