Hurricane Delta is moving northwestward over the Gulf of Mexico, and hurricane conditions and life-threatening storm surge impact is expected to begin along portions of the northern Gulf Coast on Friday.
As of 7 a.m. Thursday, the National Hurricane Center says a Storm Surge Warning is in effect for Sabine Pass.
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Sabine Pass.
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for East of Sabine Pass to Morgan City, Louisiana.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for San Luis Pass, Texas to Sabine Pass east of Morgan City, Louisiana to the mouth of the Pearl River, including New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.
A few tornadoes are possible late Thursday night through Friday over southern parts of Louisiana and Mississippi.
At 7 a.m. Thursday, the center of Hurricane Delta was located over the Gulf of Mexico about 425 miles south of Cameron, Louisiana. Delta is moving toward the northwest near 15 mph, and this motion with a reduction in forward speed is expected Friday. On the forecast track, the center of Delta will move over the central Gulf of Mexico Friday, and move inland within the hurricane warning area Friday afternoon or Friday night.
Reports from the Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds are near 100 mph with higher gusts – a category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles.
Strengthening is forecast to occur, and Delta is expected to become a major hurricane again by Thursday night. Some weakening is forecast when Delta approaches the northern Gulf coast on Friday.
The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.
The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide: Sabine Lake…1-3 ft
Friday through Saturday, Delta is expected to produce 5 to 10 inches of rain, with isolated maximum totals of 15 inches, for southwest into south central Louisiana. These rainfall amounts will lead to significant flash, urban, small stream flooding, along with minor to isolated moderate river flooding.
For extreme east Texas into northern Louisiana, southern Arkansas and western Mississippi, Delta is expected to produce 3 to 6 inches of rain, with isolated maximum totals of 10 inches. These rainfall amounts will lead to flash, urban, small stream and isolated minor river flooding.
According to the latest National Weather Service, the latest projection possibilities call for Jefferson County to experience winds of 40 to 50 mph, with gusts of 60 mph., storm surge of 2 to 4 feet, rainfall totals close to 6 inches, no tornado threat and isolated power outages.