Miami, FL.(Florida News Network)-At 1100PM EDT, the center of Hurricane Delta was located near latitude 25.7 North, longitude 93.6 West. Delta is moving toward the north-northwest near 12 mph (19 km/h). A turn toward the north is forecast overnight, followed by a north-northeastward motion Friday and Friday night. On the forecast track, the center of Delta will move over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico on Friday, and then move inland within the hurricane warning area Friday afternoon or Friday night.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 120 mph with higher gusts. Delta is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some slight additional strengthening is possible overnight. Weakening is expected to begin as Delta approaches the northern Gulf coast on Friday, with rapid weakening expected after the center moves inland.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles (65 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles (260 km). NOAA buoy 42002 near Delta's northwestern eyewall recently reported a sustained wind of 63 mph (101 km/h) and a wind gust to 76 mph (122 km/h). The buoy also reported a significant wave height just over 29 feet (almost 9 meters).
The minimum central pressure reported by an Air Force Hurricane Hunter Aircraft is 955 mb (28.20 inches).
Data and graphic credit: National Hurricane Center