Hurricane Delta Takes Aim at US: What to Expect

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The twenty-fifth named storm of the 2020 hurricane season is bearing down on the US. After growing to a Category 4 storm on Tuesday and then weakening before making landfall in Mexico, Hurricane Delta moved out over the Gulf. The historic storm was the quickest to ever become named twenty-fifth, and was only the second storm to ever be given the name Delta.

Delta is now bearing down on Louisiana, and could easily make landfall at Category 2. The region it is approaching has already been drenched this year by Hurricane Laura, making its approach a troubling proposition for the region. Couple that with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and the region is clearly not prepared for the economic impact of yet another storm.

Storm Aims at Louisiana

The storm is on track to make landfall in south-western Louisiana. Despite being a relatively small storm, it is churning up considerable seawater. As it approaches the shoreline, it is forecast to bring life-threatening storm surge to the coastal regions of Louisiana. This, paired with high wind speeds and heavy rainfall, can combine to create deadly flooding conditions in low-lying areas near the shore.

The storm is forecast to make landfall near the parish of Cameron, Louisiana, which already faced another storm this season. Cameron Parish has ordered a mandatory evacuation of people in the coastal region. The parish is still recovering from the damage dealt by Hurricane Laura, so getting Delta so soon after that August storm is likely exhausting for the region.

Louisiana Faces Another Hurricane

The 2020 hurricane season has been incredibly active, rivaling the historic 2005 hurricane season. The real consequences of this have been felt acutely by Louisiana, which has had no less than four named storms make landfall this season. Most devastating among them was Laura, which killed 15 and displaced thousands. Many in the region were without power for weeks.

That another powerful storm could hit so close in time in the same region is not unheard of, but quite rare. This occurring alongside a pandemic that has ravaged the population and economy has made this year a nightmare for the region.

Should Delta develop into a powerful enough storm to merit its name being retired, the NOAA will use an unusual protocol. Since Delta is from the backup name list, it is named based on a Greek letter. Should its name be retired, it will be ceremonially added to the list of “retired” names along with the year it occurred.

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Written by
Jeremy Liu

Jeremy Liu has always been fascinated by extreme weather—but he prefers to write about the world’s deadliest storms from the safety and comfort of his home office. He’s much less likely to get hit with a flying cow that way. (And yes, Jeremy’s favorite movie is Twister.)

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Written by Jeremy Liu