Yucatan Peninsula: Hurricane Delta becomes extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane

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The National Civil Protection System decreed a red alert of maximum danger in the north of Quintana Roo and began the evacuation process of Holbox Island, Punta Allen, Hotel Zones of Cancun and Puerto Morelos, the tents of the Kumate Hospital, Punta Herrero, Isla María Elena, and Banco Chinchorro

Hurricane Delta rapidly intensified into a powerful Category 4 “major” hurricane Tuesday with 130 mph winds in the Caribbean Sea as it heads for Mexico then treks north toward the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Although the trajectory forecast initially indicated that the system would not make landfall in southeastern Mexico, the cyclone changed its course, and now everything indicates that it will impact Puerto Morelos, sometime in the early hours of October 7 . In addition, according to the report of the National Meteorological Service (SMN), it could do so as a category 4 hurricane , that is, with very violent winds that will move between 215 and 260 kilometers per hour.

Faced with the new direction taken by the cyclone, the governor of Quintana Roo, Carlos Joaquín, held an emergency press conference early Tuesday to explain detailed information on the phenomenon and urge the population to take shelter and prepare for the impact.

We now have Hurricane Delta. We have been following it up. It is a strong hurricane that is coming to the Quintana Roo territory and we must all be prepared, attentive, before this situation. 

In the northern part of the state, a Red Alert or maximum danger was issued due to the threat of the phenomenon. Alerts were also activated from the state of Yucatán and recommendations were shared. For his part, the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, announced that he will send more than 5,000 troops to the area.

12:30 (17:30 GMT): in a press conference, the governor of the state of Yucatan, Mauricio Vila, indicated that this Tuesday, October 6, they will be suspended in the municipalities of the eastern part of the state, starting at 4:00 p.m. , all business tasks and non-essential activities, except for those related to safety, health and civil protection.

For their part, supermarkets and pharmacies may operate until 8:00 p.m.

11:20 (16:20 GMT): the National Civil Protection System updated the warnings and issued a red or maximum danger alert for the northeast of Yucatán and for the north of Quintana Roo

Delta is forecast to lash Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula on Wednesday with “extremely dangerous storm surge” and “significant flash flooding.” While forecasters are unsure exactly where and when it could hit the U.S., areas from Louisiana to the western Florida panhandle could see dangerous conditions Thursday night into Friday.

The National Hurricane Center said Delta is going through “a very impressive rapid intensification episode.” Early Monday, Delta was a tropical depression that the National Hurricane Center had initially pegged to just muster hurricane strength on Tuesday.

In fact, Delta intensified by 70 mph (from 40 mph to 110 mph) in the first 24 hours since it became a named storm, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach. This is the most intensification in a 24-hour period for an October Atlantic named storm since Hurricane Wilma in 2005

As of 11:20 a.m. EDT Tuesday, Delta had winds up to 130 mph and was powering forward west-northwest at 16 mph. The storm was about 315 miles east-southeast of the Mexican island of Cozumel, hurricane center forecasters said.

“I honestly don’t see much that will stop it until it reaches Yucatan,” a forecaster wrote in the hurricane center’s 5 a.m. update.

The immediate worst impacts were expected along the resort-studded northeastern tip of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, where hurricane conditions were expected Tuesday night and landfall early Wednesday. 

MapasDiscusión

From Tulum to Cancun, tourism-dependent communities still being soaked Tuesday by the remnants of Tropical Storm Gamma could bear the brunt of the storm.

Delta could have winds of around 140 mph when it hits Mexico, forecasters say. While it could lose some strength as it tears through Mexico, “conditions look ripe for re-intensification” once it continues on to the U.S., the hurricane center said.

If it makes landfall in the U.S. later this week, Delta would be the 10th named storm to hit the U.S. in a single season, which would be an all-time record. This year has already tied 1916 for nine landfalling tropical systems in the U.S., AccuWeather said. 

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, something it has only done once before, after more than 21 named storms formed, exhausting the pre-approved name list.

Two previous hurricanes this year have reached “major” status, meaning their wind speeds have reached at least 111 mph, making the storm a Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale.

Hurricane Laura devastated parts of Louisiana and southeastern Texas when it roared ashore as a Category 4 hurricane. Hurricane Teddy never made landfall in the U.S. but brushed past New England on its way to Canada.

Hurricane Sally, although not a “major” hurricane in terms of wind speed, still caused severe flooding damage to parts of Alabama and the Florida panhandle when it dumped 30 inches of rain in some areas.

Hurricane Delta

The historically active hurricane season has also caused some to speculate whether climate change is contributing to the number and intensity of storms seen today. While no single weather event can be solely pegged to global warming, scientists have found that human-caused climate change makes strong storms even stronger.

Warmer air holds more moisture, making storms rainier, and rising seas from global warming make storm surges higher and more damaging.

Scientists have also seen tropical storms and hurricanes slow down once they hit the U.S. by about 17% since 1900, and that gives them the opportunity to unload more rain over one place, as Sally did in the Southeast and 2017’s Hurricane Harvey did in Houston.

Source: infobae.com, usatoday.com, smn.conagua.gob.mx

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