Hurricane Delta's rapid intensification slowed a bit Tuesday, but it remains a strong category 4 storm approaching the Yucatan peninsula.
The National Hurricane Center said there is room for Delta to grow stronger before it moves over the Yucatan. Land interaction should lead to some weakening, but Delta is forecast to emerge into the Gul as a major hurricane.
Delta is forecast to restrengthen to category 4 strength as it approaches a possible Louisiana landfall by the end of the week. Some weakening may occur before that landfall as the storm moves over cooler Gulf waters and encounters forecasted wind shear.
Gov. John Bel Edwards has issued a state of emergency in advance of Delta's arrival. Residents are urged to use the next few days to prepare for storm impacts that are expected to felt across south Louisiana.
"There is an increasing likelihood of life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds, especially along the coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi, beginning on Friday," warned the National Hurricane Center. "Residents in these areas should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and follow advice given by local officials. Storm surge and hurricane watches will likely be issued for portions of the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday."