Tropical Storm Delta forms, expected to make landfall in Louisiana: See track

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Tropical Storm Delta formed Monday morning in the Caribbean, forecasters said. Its current track has it making landfall on the Gulf Coast. (image via NOAA)

Jeremy Adams rides his bike past a wall of sandbags along Kenal Rd. near the Tidewater Dock in Lafitte, La. Monday, Sept. 21, 2020. Storms surge from Tropical Storm Beta caused some street flooding in Lafitte. (Photo by Max Becherer, NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)

Tropical Storm Delta formed Monday morning and is expected to make landfall in Louisiana, forecasters said.

The current track from the National Hurricane Center has Delta making landfall Friday as a Category 2 hurricane in southeast Louisiana, but the track has an average error of 160 to 200 miles this far out. 

Heavy rain, dangerous storm surge and gusty winds are all possible, depending on the track and intensity of the system, along the coast from Louisiana to the western Florida panhandle, forecasters said. Now is the time for residents to make plans and prepare. 

Forecasters also are watching Tropical Storm Gamma, which is weakening in the Gulf of Mexico. It is near the Yucatan peninsula and is not expected to reach the U.S. Gulf Coast.

As of 7 a.m., Tropical Storm Delta was about 130 miles south of Negril, Jamaica, and about 270 miles southeast of Grand Cayman.

The storm is heading northwest at 9 mph. It’s expected to pick up speed Tuesday and Wednesday. On the forecast track, the center of the depression is expected to move away from Jamaica later in the day, move near or over the Cayman Islands Monday night and approach the Isle of Youth and western Cuba Tuesday afternoon or evening.

Forecasters said the longterm track becomes complex because they are unsure how Tropical Storm Delta will interact with the remnant of Tropical Storm Gamma.

The interaction « could result in a sharp westward jog, after which a sharp turn back toward the northwest could occur, »Â  according to Stacy R. Stewart, a senior hurricane specialist with the National Hurricane Center.

Tropical Storm Delta formed Monday morning in the Caribbean, forecasters said. Its current track has it making landfall on the Gulf Coast. (image via NOAA)

The latest track from the National Hurricane Center has the system moving into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday night or early Wednesday.

« At some point, the system is expected to turn more northward, and depending on when and where that occurs the expected impacts could still change significantly, » according to Phil Grigsby, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Slidell.

The longterm track, which often changes, has the storm making landfall Friday near Terrebone and Lafourche parishes and then turning east toward New Orleans and then heading into Mississippi.

Delta’s winds could reach Louisiana as early as Thursday morning, forecasters said, but the most likely timing is Thursday night.

Additional strengthening is expected during the next few days, and the tropical storm is expected to be a hurricane when it moves near or over western Cuba.

It is expected to have peak winds of 105 mph in the Gulf, the National Hurricane Center. At landfall, 100 mph winds are expected.

Jeremy Adams rides his bike past a wall of sandbags along Kenal Rd. near the Tidewater Dock in Lafitte, La. Monday, Sept. 21, 2020. Storms surge from Tropical Storm Beta caused some street flooding in Lafitte. (Photo by Max Becherer, NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)

As of 7 a.m., the center of the storm was about 165 miles northeast of Progreso, Mexico, and about 150 miles northwest of Cozumel, Mexico.

It’s moving southwest at 2 mph. Gamma is forecast stay near the Yucatan for the next day or two, the National Hurricane Center said. Gamma could possibly move inland along the northwest coast of the Yucatan peninsula Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Gamma’s winds have weakened to 45 mph, and gradual weakening is expected during the next few days.

Read the full 7 a.m. advisory for Gamma. The next one comes out at 10 a.m.

Systems are named once they strengthen into a tropical storm. The next available name is Epsilon. Forecasters moved to the Greek alphabet in September after using all the available names for the 2020 Atlantic season.

No other tropical cyclones are expected to form in the next five days in the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

Don’t miss a storm update this hurricane season. Sign up for breaking newsletters. Follow our Hurricane Center Facebook page.

Carlie Kollath Wells is a morning reporter at NOLA.com and The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate.

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Source: https://www.nola.com/news/hurricane/article_a43baedc-06fb-11eb-b3ec-37186d000afd.html

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