Delta weakens to tropical storm, nears Mississippi

9 months ago 52
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Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Delta weakened to a tropical storm as it pushed through Louisiana on Saturday, forecasters said.

In its 7 a.m. CDT update, the National Hurricane Center said the hurricane had 40 mph maximum sustained winds. The eye was located 45 miles east of Monroe, La., and was moving north-northeast at 16 mph.

The eye of the storm was hours from passing into Mississippi, where it's expected to weaken to a tropical depression.

"On the forecast track, the center of Delta should move across northeastern Louisiana this morning and then across northern Mississippi and into the Tennessee Valley later today and Sunday," the NHC said in its advisory.

Delta had previously been projected to make landfall somewhere between far eastern Texas and western Mississippi, a region that has been threatened twice this year by hurricanes -- Laura and Sally, both in September.

The track narrowed late Thursday and early Friday as Delta neared the U.S. Gulf Coast. The storm made landfall in Creole, La., around 6 p.m. Friday.

Delta exploded into a Category 4 hurricane on Monday before gradually weakening. On Tuesday, its intensification was the most extreme in 15 years for an October hurricane.

Delta also set a speed record for strengthening from a depression to a Category 4 hurricane, just over 36 hours, surpassing Keith from 2000 -- and strengthened into the second-most intense hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season on Tuesday. The only storm to become stronger this season was Hurricane Laura, which packed peak winds of 150 mph.

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