Raleigh, N.C. — Hurricane Delta made landfall along the northeastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula Wednesday as a strong Category 2 hurricane. The storm is expected to impact the Gulf Coast and bring rain to North Carolina later this week.
The storm made landfall around 6:30 a.m. south of Cancun with top winds of 110 mph. Dangerous hurricane conditions are expected for the Yucatan Peninsula on Wednesday, where at least 4 to 6 inches of rain could fall, possibly more.
After intensifying from a Category 1 storm to a Category 4 storm in less than 24 hours on Tuesday, Delta weakened slightly as it neared land. WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said the storm could regain Category 4 strength and have devastating impacts on the Gulf Coast before it brings rain to North Carolina.
Warm water temperatures cause storms like Delta to strengthen quickly, Gardner said, but it could weaken again before it makes landfall near Louisiana late Friday.
According to the National Hurricane Center, while it’s too early to know the exact impacts, there is a risk of dangerous storm surge, wind, and rainfall hazards along the coast from Louisiana to the western Florida Panhandle.
Up to 12 inches of rain are possible, and some Gulf states have declared a state of emergency.
Gardner said remnants from the storm would then move to the northeast, possibly bringing rain to North Carolina on Saturday and Sunday.
Currently, it looks like the heaviest rain will fall in the western portion of the state, while the Triangle could get between 0.5 to 2 inches of rain.
For now, the only local impact expected from Delta is rain.
Delta will be the record 10th storm to make landfall in the U.S. this season. It is the ninth hurricane and the 25th named storm of the season.