A strengthening Hurricane Delta is expected to pass southwest of the Cayman Islands later on Tuesday morning with the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) warning of extremely dangerous hurricane conditions expected for the northern eastern Yucatan Peninsula from Wednesday.
In its latest bulletin, the BHC said that the center of the category 2 Hurricane Delta was located near latitude 17.8 North, longitude 82.0 West and it is moving towards the west-northwest near 15 miles per hour (mph).
“A faster northwestward motion is expected to begin later today through Wednesday night. On the forecast track, the center of Delta is expected to continue to pass southwest of the Cayman Islands this morning, and move over the northeastern portion of the Yucatan peninsula early Wednesday.
“Delta is forecast to move over the southern Gulf of Mexico Wednesday afternoon, and be over the southern or central Gulf of Mexico through Thursday,” the NHC added.
It said that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 110 mph with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Delta is expected to be a major hurricane when it moves over the Yucatan Peninsula Wednesday and over the Gulf of Mexico through Thursday.
The NHC is warning that an extremely dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as six to nine feet above normal tide levels along coast of the Yucatan peninsula within the hurricane warning area, near and to right of where the center makes landfall.
“Tropical storm conditions are expected in the Cayman Islands today. In the Yucatan Peninsula, hurricane conditions are expected in the warning area early Wednesday, with tropical storm conditions beginning later today or tonight.
“Tropical storm conditions are expected in the tropical storm warning area tonight and Wednesday.
In Cuba, tropical storm conditions are expected tonight in the warning area and possible in the watch area near the same time.”
It said that swells generated by Delta will be affected land areas around the northwestern Caribbean Sea for the next day or so. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.