Storm Delta strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane on Tuesday and could turn into a powerful cyclone this week when it hits the touristy Yucatan Peninsula and heads toward the US Gulf of Mexico coast, according to local meteorologists.
As of Tuesday morning, Delta was 185 kilometers south of the Grand Cayman Islands and had maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometers per hour (kph), said the United States National Hurricane Center (CNH).
Delta is the twenty-fifth storm of the current Atlantic hurricane season and is poised to break a record since 1916 for the number of cyclones to hit the United States in one year, adding to the number of natural disasters that have occurred in recent years. months, such as wildfires, floods, and tornadoes.
The CNH -which is based in Miami- anticipates that the storm will unload abundant rains in the Yucatan Peninsula and then it will head towards the Gulf of Mexico to make landfall somewhere between the states of Louisiana and Florida in the southern United States. .
Experts have warned of extremely dangerous cyclonic conditions as of Wednesday morning in the northwestern part of the Mexican peninsula where the Caribbean resorts of Tulum Y Cancún.
There have been so many storms in the North Atlantic this year that meteorologists ran out of pre-set names, so in recent weeks they turned to the Greek alphabet. If Delta reaches the US coast, it could be the 10th storm to hit the country in 2020.
“This is going to be an impact hurricane,” said Dan Kottlowski, head of the cyclone study team at the AccuWeather meteorology center. The warm waters and the absence of winds may allow Delta to strengthen to a Category 3 hurricane by Wednesday or Thursday, it said.
Oil and gas producers in the Gulf of Mexico, such as BP PLC, BHP Group and Occidental Petroleum, have begun to withdraw their essential personnel from offshore platforms. Chevron announced that it will close its facilities in the area.