Delta now a Cat 4 storm

Hurricane Delta, now a Category 4 storm, was moving across the western Caribbean Sea at 16 mph with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph this morning.

Continued strengthening is expected and Delta will be a major hurricane before reaching the Yucatan Peninsula near Cancun and crossing into the southern Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center says.

Once in the southern Gulf, the system will slow down. Initially, the storm will maintain strength in warm water but steering winds are expected to then accelerate the system north and possibly northeast through the cooler central and northern Gulf on Thursday. By this time, some wind shear and dry air could work on the storm as well, and some weakening is expected.

Forecasters warn that with tropical systems, uncertainty increases farther out in time. The track error is about 150 miles, so it is important to check the forecast frequently in case of changes. On its current track, coastal communities should prepare for hurricane conditions to arrive late Thursday.
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