Hurricane Delta rapidly intensifies, likely to hit Gulf Coast

With its 25 mph spike in 6 hours, Delta is on pace to nearly triple the definition of rapid intensification. In response, Delta is quickly becoming better organized as thunderstorms blossom and encircle the center of low pressure. As a result Delta entered its strengthening phase, which is expected to last through Wednesday as the system moves northwestward near Cancun and then into the Gulf of Mexico. The storm is forecast to become a major Category 3 hurricane Tuesday and impact the U.S. But with four days to go, a lot can change between now and then. While it was located near Delta’s present position, Wilma shattered records for rapid intensification, dropping almost 100 millibars in 24 hours and strengthening from a tropical storm with winds of 70 mph to a Category 5 storm with winds of 185 mph in just 36 hours. 
A reminder that #Wilma formed in October in the same general location and rapidly intensified at record shattering pace. The core of the storm is very tight which can yield a rapid intensification phase very soon. That’s not to say that #Delta will follow suit but the water in this area is hot and deep, and shear is relaxing under the UL ridge. Gulf Coast late this week

By Jeff Berardelli

October 6, 2020 / 7:20 AM
/ CBS News

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Delta is expected to reach peak intensity on Wednesday and Thursday as it enters the central Gulf of Mexico. #NOLA 👀2020 continues to do it’s thing. Gulf Coast at the end of the week. pic.twitter.com/dk9SsFV2SE— MJVentrice (@MJVentrice) October 4, 2020

First published on October 5, 2020 / 9:57 AM pic.twitter.com/vMZOAwqppi— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) October 5, 2020

Delta follows right on the heels of Tropical Storm Gamma, which is still spinning about 600 miles to the northwest of Delta, near Cancun, Mexico. With nearly two months left in the season, and three months left in the year, 2020 is on track to leave 2005 in the dust. This would break the record for most landfalling tropical cyclones in a single season (9; 1916). Here’s a look at Ocean Heat Content. It’s only the second hurricane season on record to run out of names and require using the Greek alphabet. Old record was November 15, 2005. CBS News

Various factors are favorable for the system to become a major hurricane. Delta is expected to become a hurricane before it reaches the U.S. coast this season, the most on record in the Atlantic. The computer model intensity guidance, as well as real-time data, suggests that rapid intensification will continue overnight, a phenomena that is becoming more common in the Atlantic due to warmer ocean temperatures from climate change. The definition of rapid intensification is a 35 mph jump in winds within 24 hours. However, to replicate the extent of Wilma’s astonishing intensification would be statistically unlikely. On Wednesday it is forecast to maintain winds of around 120 mph, but an even stronger storm is not out of the question. High octane fuel. Above the storm the atmosphere is very calm, acting like an incubator. To this day, Wilma is the most intense Atlantic hurricane on record with a pressure of 882 millibars. Then all indications are that wind shear — those hostile upper-level winds — will develop on top of the system and should act to subdue the intensity of the storm. The official forecast calls for the system to weaken some before making landfall Friday. Lastly, over the next 48 hours the system will be moving over the northwest Caribbean into a bullseye of some of the most potent ocean heat content on Earth. #Delta will move through the deep red bullseye today and tomorrow in the NW Caribbean. Not only is it very hot water, 86 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit, but also very deep hot water, which also helps sustain and strengthen storms. As of the 8 p.m. As of early Monday evening, the storm’s relatively small eye has closed off, enabling the system to gain a faster spin. Gamma is forecast to continue to weaken, as Delta becomes the main event in the Caribbean. Get Breaking News Delivered to Your Inbox

On Monday, hostile upper-level winds, also called wind shear, which were inhibiting the system from organizing, started to lessen. Residents along the Gulf Coast should begin making initial preparations now.When Delta makes landfall, it will become the 10th tropical cyclone to make landfall along the U.S. #Delta has formed in the central Caribbean – the 25th Atlantic named storm of the 2020 Atlantic #hurricane season to date and earliest 25th Atlantic named storm on record. Gulf Coast by the end of the week.Delta is the 25th named storm of the season, 6 full weeks ahead of the record pace set in 2005 — a season that featured 28 tropical systems. Recon just made the first pass into Delta and pressure is way down. pic.twitter.com/PVFxRahJLz— Zack Fradella (@ZackFradellaWx) October 5, 2020

The official forecast from the National Hurricane Center is for Delta to become a Category 3 hurricane Tuesday with winds of 120 mph as it passes through the Yucatan Channel, west of Havana, Cuba. With the prediction of a possible landfalling Hurricane #Delta next week, it would be the 10th tropical cyclone strike of the season. Delta formed early Monday morning, just south of Jamaica in the Caribbean, and by Monday night it was already at hurricane strength. advisory from the National Hurricane Center the system had sustained winds of 75 mph, having rapidly intensified 30 mph in just 9 hours. Most models are in general agreement on the landfall occurring somewhere in an area stretching from the Louisiana coast eastward to Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida. 06:39

The record-shattering 2020 Atlantic hurricane season shows no signs of slowing down. pic.twitter.com/OpQvmDX4wr— Jeff Berardelli (@WeatherProf) October 5, 2020

The initial stages of this system bear some resemblance to Hurricane Wilma, which formed in mid-October 2005. pic.twitter.com/D2aZ4FtlLb— Jeff Berardelli (@WeatherProf) October 5, 2020

While no two meteorological setups are exactly alike, it will not be surprising if Delta undergoes rapid intensification and becomes stronger than initially forecast. So, no surprises if…