Hurricane Delta Path, Tracker as Louisiana Landfall Risks 'Significant Flash Flooding'

As Hurricane Delta makes landfall Friday in Louisiana, a "life-threatening storm surge" is forecast for parts of the northern Gulf coast, with "significant flash flooding" expected in portions of Louisiana, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned Friday.

While Delta is projected to reach "near major hurricane intensity" when it makes landfall, "rapid weakening is anticipated and Delta is forecast to fall below hurricane strength tonight or early Saturday and dissipate in about 3 days" after it makes landfall, the NHC noted.

"Heavy rainfall will lead to significant flash flooding and minor to major river flooding in parts of Louisiana today [Friday] and Saturday. Additional flooding is expected across portions of the central Gulf Coast into the Lower Mississippi Valley," according to the NHC.

Hurricane force winds are expected Friday within the hurricane warning area between High Island, Texas, and Morgan City, Louisiana and will also spread to parts of southern Louisiana near the path of the center of the hurricane on Friday evening, the NHC added.

"A Storm Surge Warning is in effect from High Island, Texas to Ocean Springs, Mississippi. The highest inundation of 7 to 11 feet is expected somewhere between Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge and Morgan City, Louisiana," the NHC noted Friday.

Latest from GOES-East looking down at #Delta. Winds are expected to increase to Tropical Storm force tomorrow morning, & increase to hurricane force somewhere within the Hurricane Warning area before spreading inland across portions of southern LA near the path of
Delta's center

— National Weather Service (@NWS) October 9, 2020

Delta is expected to continue moving north on Friday, with "the core of the hurricane to the Louisiana coast this evening [Friday]," the NHC noted.

"After landfall, a turn to the northeast is forecast as a larger trough moves eastward toward Delta, and that motion should continue until the cyclone dissipates over Tennessee or Kentucky in a few days," the NHC added.

The hurricane is expected to move with "progressively lower oceanic heat content" as it nears the Louisiana coast. "These less favorable oceanic conditions combined with an increase in southwesterly shear should cause Delta to weaken a little before it moves onshore," the NHC said.

Residents within the Storm Surge Warning area have been told to promptly follow the advice of local authorities, as "the storm surge risk remains high despite the forecast decrease in intensity before landfall since Delta is a relatively large hurricane," the NHC noted.

There is a moderate risk of flash flooding across portions of western Louisiana, especially Friday and Friday night, in association with Hurricane #Delta. @NWSWPC is forecasting 6-10" of rain, with isolated totals of 15" for these areas.

— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) October 8, 2020

A hurricane occurs when the maximum sustained winds of a tropical storm climb to 74 miles per hour.

"The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating, or category, based on a hurricane's maximum sustained winds. The higher the category, the greater the hurricane's potential for property damage," according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

"Hurricanes originate in the Atlantic basin, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico, the eastern North Pacific Ocean, and, less frequently, the central North Pacific Ocean," the NOAA says.

Hurricane season stretches from June through November, but storms can happen before and after the official hurricane season.

Louisiana Before Hurricane Delta Landfall 2020
A deserted street seen in Lake Charles, Louisiana on October 8, a day before Hurricane Delta is expected to make landfall in the state. Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images