Hurricane Delta continued its rapid strengthening and reached major Category 4 strength on Tuesday morning.
The National Hurricane Center said at 11 a.m. ET that reports from NOAA Hurricane Hunters indicated Delta had reached major Category 3 hurricane strength. Less than 30 minutes later, the NHC updated its advisory to say Hurricane Hunters data showed Delta had strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane with 130 mph winds.
Delta is expected to be an “extremely dangerous hurricane” when it reaches the Yucatan Peninsula.
At 11:30 a.m., the NHC reported Delta was about 315 miles east-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico and 125 miles southwest of Grand Cayman. It’s moving west-northwest at 16 mph.
The latest forecast track shows Delta passing southwest of the Cayman Islands on Tuesday morning before hitting the northeastern Yucatán Peninsula early Wednesday. It could reach the central Gulf of Mexico by Thursday as a Category 4 storm.
Forecasters predict a storm surge of up to 9 feet above normal tide levels along the coast, and between 4 and 6 inches of rain with some areas seeing isolated amounts of 10 inches.