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Hurricane Delta rapidly itensifies into a Category 4 with 130mph winds and will strike Mexico's resort towns before weakening and heading up to US Gulf Coast later this week

 Hurricane Delta rapidly intensified into a Category 4 with 130 mph winds on Tuesday and is on course to hammer southeastern Mexico, then hit the US Gulf Coast later this week.  

On Tuesday Delta strengthened from a Tropical Storm into a roaring Category 4 'major' hurricane in the Caribbean Sea and is forecast to hammer Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula by Wednesday.  

However, it will weaken before spiraling up towards the US Gulf Coast, potentially hitting Louisiana or Florida's panhandle as a formidable Category 2 hurricane by Friday.  

Delta is currently 315 miles east-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico, moving west-northwest at 16 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 11am update Tuesday. 

Hurricane Delta rapidly intensified into a Category 4 hurricane with 130 mph winds on Tuesday in the Caribbean Sea and will hammer Mexico's Yucatan peninsula Wednesday before spiraling towards the US Gulf Coast with storm surge and rain by Thursday evening or Friday. Delta may potentially make landfall in the US Friday night

Hurricane Delta rapidly intensified into a Category 4 hurricane with 130 mph winds on Tuesday in the Caribbean Sea and will hammer Mexico's Yucatan peninsula Wednesday before spiraling towards the US Gulf Coast with storm surge and rain by Thursday evening or Friday. Delta may potentially make landfall in the US Friday night

This NOAA satellite image shows Delta as a compact Category 4 in the Caribbean on Tuesday before noon

This NOAA satellite image shows Delta as a compact Category 4 in the Caribbean on Tuesday before noon

This satellite image shows Delta moving northwest in the Caribbean on Tuesday at 11.20am EST as it intensified into a catastrophic Category 4

This satellite image shows Delta moving northwest in the Caribbean on Tuesday at 11.20am EST as it intensified into a catastrophic Category 4

'The hurricane is in the midst of a very impressive rapid intensification episode, having strengthened over 50 [knots] during the past 24 hours,' NHC senior hurricane specialist Eric Blake said. 

Early Monday Delta was just a tropical depression. It exploded from a 40 mph tropical storm to a 130 mph Category 4 in just over 27 hours. 

Shocking satellite images showed that Delta to be an intensely compact hurricane on Tuesday morning, with hurricane force winds only extending outward 25 miles from the center.

Resort spots including Tulum and Cozumel are now under a hurricane warning and the region is forecast to experience hurricane conditions Tuesday night and landfall early Wednesday.

Delta threatens to bring 'extremely dangerous storm surge' that will raise water levels by as much as six to nine feet above normal tide levels. 


The hurricane presents 'an important danger for the coastal regions' because of the storm surge in the lower parts of Quintana Roo, such as the resorts of Cancun, Holbox island or Isla Mujeres, Jorge Zavala, head of Mexico's meteorological service, said in a press conference late Monday.

Zavala said preventative evacuations would begin Tuesday morning.

This could be the strongest hurricane to ever hit Cancun since Hurricane Wilma, according to Weather.com

As of Tuesday Tulum and Cozumel are still experiencing heavy rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Gamma that passed through Saturday.

Tropical Storm Gamma smashes away pier on Yucatan Peninsula
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Delta is expected to head west before spiraling north, northeast to hit anywhere between Louisiana to the Florida panhandle

Delta is expected to head west before spiraling north, northeast to hit anywhere between Louisiana to the Florida panhandle

Hurricane warnings are active for the resort towns of Cancun and Cozumel as Delta draws nearer, predicted to hit the Yucatan peninsula by Wednesday

Hurricane warnings are active for the resort towns of Cancun and Cozumel as Delta draws nearer, predicted to hit the Yucatan peninsula by Wednesday

This graphic shows Delta's track history since October 4 when it was a tropical depression, developed into a storm then into a hurricane on Tuesday

This graphic shows Delta's track history since October 4 when it was a tropical depression, developed into a storm then into a hurricane on Tuesday

Cuba's westernmost province and the Cayman Islands were under tropical storm warnings on Tuesday as well as Delta spirals west. 

After hitting Mexico the storm is predicted to spiral west then curl north and northeast, with the potential to make landfall on the Louisiana coast Thursday evening to Friday. 

But Delta will weaken to a predicted Category 2 hurricane due to increasingly unfavorable upper-level winds and cooler Gulf water as it draws closer to the US. 

Weather experts warn there is 'large uncertainty' in the storm's trajectory, but forecasts show it is likely to hit Louisiana the hardest.

'While there is large uncertainty in the track and intensity forecasts, there is a significant risk of dangerous storm surge, wind, and rainfall hazards along the coast from Louisiana to the western Florida Panhandle beginning Thursday night or Friday,' the NHC said. 

'Residents in these areas should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and monitor updates to the forecast of Delta,' NHC added. 

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards tweeted a warning to his constituents to brace for impact. 'Now is the time for Louisianans to prepare Hurricane #Delta. This storm will affect Louisiana and everyone needs to prepare accordingly,' he shared Tuesday

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards tweeted a warning to his constituents to brace for impact. 'Now is the time for Louisianans to prepare Hurricane #Delta. This storm will affect Louisiana and everyone needs to prepare accordingly,' he shared Tuesday

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey tweeted: 'Folks, with the threat of storm #Delta nearing the Gulf Coast, I ask that if you can secure your boats and other personal property that you do so. We are still cleaning up from #Sally and want everyone to be as safe as possible with more bad weather headed our way'

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey tweeted: 'Folks, with the threat of storm #Delta nearing the Gulf Coast, I ask that if you can secure your boats and other personal property that you do so. We are still cleaning up from #Sally and want everyone to be as safe as possible with more bad weather headed our way'

Louisiana is still reeling from the impacts of Hurricane Laura on August 27 that forced hundreds of thousands to evacuate and power outages. 

Gov. John Bel Edwards tweeted a warning to his constituents to brace for impact. 

'Now is the time for Louisianans to prepare Hurricane #Delta. This storm will affect Louisiana and everyone needs to prepare accordingly,' he shared Tuesday.

Beach communities on the Alabama coast are still clearing away the damage from Hurricane Sally, which made landfall at Gulf Shores on September 16, as they warn people to be ready for Hurricane Delta.

Erosion from Sally, which gnawed away at beaches and dunes, still hasn´t been repaired and could worsen the flooding threat from Delta, since there's less sand to stop the water, according to an update from the town of Gulf Shores.

Tropical Storm Gamma: People rescue their belongings after a flood due to heavy rains at Las Gaviotas colony in Tabasco, Mexico on Sunday

Tropical Storm Gamma: People rescue their belongings after a flood due to heavy rains at Las Gaviotas colony in Tabasco, Mexico on Sunday

View of the damage caused by flooding from the constant rains from Tropical Storm Gamma in Nacajuca, Tabasco, Mexico on October 2

View of the damage caused by flooding from the constant rains from Tropical Storm Gamma in Nacajuca, Tabasco, Mexico on October 2

Inhabitants are evacuated due to the flooding triggered by Tropical Storm Gamma in Nacajuca, Tabasco, Mexico on October 2 above

Inhabitants are evacuated due to the flooding triggered by Tropical Storm Gamma in Nacajuca, Tabasco, Mexico on October 2 above 

A view of waves in Cancun in the Quintana Roo state of Mexico on Saturday above

A view of waves in Cancun in the Quintana Roo state of Mexico on Saturday above

Dump trucks have removed about 190,000 cubic yards of splintered buildings, docks and trees in neighboring Orange Beach, but the remaining debris could complicate preparation and recovery from Delta, said Mayor Tony Kennon.

'I worry about this one. I think we're all snake bit,' he told a town gathering Monday night. 

On narrow Dauphin Island, a barrier south of Mobile that was swamped by rising sea water and falling rain during Sally, officials said debris from fallen trees and splintered homes had been cleared off of only 25 percent of the disaster area by Sunday. 

Work replacing shattered docks and boardwalks was nearly complete at a boat landing and fish pier on the eastern end of the island when the town, again, began offering sand bags to residents.

Gov. Kay Ivey also urged locals to secure their property before the hurricane comes.

'Folks, with the threat of storm #Delta nearing the Gulf Coast, I ask that if you can secure your boats and other personal property that you do so. We are still cleaning up from #Sally and want everyone to be as safe as possible with more bad weather headed our way,' she tweeted Monday.  

If it makes landfall in the US later this week, Delta would be the 10th named storm to hit the US in a single season - which would be an all-time record. 

2020 is already tied 1916 for recording nine landfalling tropical systems in the US.

Delta is the earliest 25th named storm in an Atlantic hurricane season. The Hurricane Center this year turned to the Greek alphabet for naming storms after more than 21 named storms formed, running through the pre-approved name list. 

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