MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Hurricane Delta, the sixth major October hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico since 1966 and on track to be the 10th named storm and fifth hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. this year, intensified to Category 3 status Thursday afternoon with sustained winds of 115 MPH. The storm is now making its way north toward the Louisiana coast and will likely come ashore Friday afternoon near Lake Charles, Louisiana, a town that is still reeling from a direct hit from Hurricane Laura just a few weeks ago. The latest track from the National Hurricane Center shows the storm maintaining Category 3 winds but quickly weakening as it moves inland.
Remnants of the storm are still on track to move through the Mid-South this weekend. Showers from the outer bands are expected to remain confined to North Mississippi overnight and for the early part of the day Friday then gradually move north as the core of the storm moves northeast along the Mississippi River Valley. The heaviest rainfall is expected to move through the WMC Action News 5 coverage area Saturday along with gusty winds of 30 to 40 MPH.
We can expect scattered showers primarily along and south of the I-40 corridor Friday with heavier showers developing late Friday night. Heavy rain will move in from the south Saturday morning and spread north across the Mid-South through the day. Heavy rain will diminish during the evening, but rain will continue through the overnight hours into early Sunday morning. By the time the system exits rainfall amounts are expected to average one to three inches with the higher amounts primarily confined to North Mississippi.
The threat for isolated tropical tornadoes will accompany the system as the core works its way through the Mid-South, but at this time the threat seems to be low and mainly confined to Northeast Mississippi. In any case, stay weather aware this weekend and check back here often for further updates. Be sure you have the First Alert Weather app on your smart phone or iPad, it’s a free download from your app store, and keep your weather radio on this weekend as the storm moves through so that you will be alerted should any watches or warnings be issued. And, know that you can count of the First Alert Weather Team to keep you updated and informed on the air, on the web, on social media, and on the app.