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Hurricane Delta

Delta began as a tropical wave across Eastern Caribbean Sea on October 1st. By the afternoon of October 4th, the system became better organized, closed off a low-level circulation, and subsequently the National Hurricane Center began issuing advisories on Tropical Depression Twenty-six.

Just after daybreak on October 5th, Tropical Depression Twenty-six strengthened into Tropical Storm Delta, and quickly strengthened into a hurricane by that evening. Delta, with its small circulation, continued its extremely rapid intensification, reaching category 4 intensity with sustained winds of 145 mph by the afternoon of October 6th across the Northwestern Caribbean Sea. Continuing to move northwestward, Delta weakened to a high-end category 2 hurricane by the time it made landfall across the Northeast Yucatán Peninsula early on October 7th. Delta further weakened to a category 1 hurricane over land and emerged across the Southern Gulf of Mexico.

Delta continued to move northwest and began to intensify over the open Gulf of Mexico, along with its circulation expanding. Delta turned to the north and regained major hurricane status by the afternoon of October 8th. Delta reached a secondary peak intensity of 120 mph and minimum central pressure of 953 mb (28.14 inches of mercury) early on October 9th over the Western Gulf of Mexico. As Delta continued north heading for Southwest Louisiana, drier air and increasing wind shear caused Delta to begin a slow weakening trend. Delta was downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane at 1 PM CDT as it turned north-northeastward towards Cameron Parish Louisiana.

Delta made landfall near Creole, Louisiana with winds of 100 mph and a pressure of 970 mb (28.64 inches of mercury) at 6 PM CDT October 9th, which was 12 miles east of where Hurricane Laura made landfall six weeks earlier. After landfall, increasing wind shear and baroclinic forcing had degraded the circulation on satellite and radar, weakening to a category 1 hurricane by 7 PM that evening. However, Delta’s wind field expanded somewhat, extending the period of hurricane force winds from Southeast Texas to South Central Louisiana that evening. Delta weakened to a tropical storm by 1 AM CDT on October 10th while the center of circulation was just southeast of Alexandria, Louisiana. Click here for additional track data for Hurricane Delta.

With Southwest Louisiana still in recovery after Major Hurricane Laura, Delta further delayed the recovery efforts, and in many cases, caused significant additional damage to homes and businesses. Many buildings that had roof or structural damage caused by Hurricane Laura still had temporary tarping, which was ripped off by the hurricane force winds of Delta.

Other significant problems arose with the extent of tree and structural debris placed on the side of the roadways, and in many cases, the drainage ditches. The hurricane force winds blew some of this debris from the piles. However, the biggest problem came with Delta’s large circulation and rain shield dropping 12 to 18 inches of rainfall across portions of Southeast and Central Louisiana. This, coupled with the debris in the drainage ditches, caused significant flooding, especially in the flood pronged areas.

Delta was the record-setting tenth named storm of the year to make landfall in the continental United States, surpassing the previous record of nine set in 1916. However, this record was broken on October 28th with Hurricane Zeta and again on November 8th with Tropical Storm Eta, with the 2020 season setting the record of twelve named storms to make landfall in the United States. Delta was also a record-tying fourth named storm to make landfall in Louisiana in a single season, previously set in 2002. However, this record was broken on October 28th when Hurricane Zeta made landfall near Cocodrie in Southeastern Louisiana with the new record of five named storms (3 of these hurricanes) to make landfall across Louisiana.

Listed below are post-storm reports and meteorological data gathered. All data is considered preliminary, and is subject to change at any time. Additional information will continue to be added to this page in the future.



Above: GOES 16 GeoColor Satellite Image of Hurricane Delta at 2201 UTC (5:01 PM CDT) on October 9, 2020.


Above:. Right: Fort Polk, LA WSR-88D radar image of Hurricane Delta Landfall at 2259 UTC (5:59 PM CDT) on October 9, 2020.

Additional Data, Maps, Tables 
Storm Surge Wind and Pressure Storm Rainfall Storm Track

 

Radar and Satellite Animated Imagery
(NWS LCH YouTube)
Radar Imagery: Houston, TX Lake Charles, LA (N/A) Fort Polk, LA
New Orleans, LA Shreveport, LA Jackson, MS
GOES 16 Satellite Imagery: 4km Infrared 4km Visible 4km GeoColor
  2km Infrared 1km Visible 1km GeoColor

 

Post Tropical Cyclone Reports
Lake Charles, LA Shreveport, LA New Orleans, LA
Houston, TX Jackson, MS National Hurricane Center

 

Assistance Resources 
NOAA Hurricane Delta Aerial Imagery Hurricane Delta Resource page from FEMA

 

NOS Tidal Water Graphs
Eugene Island, LA Amerada Pass, LA Berwick, LA (M) Freshwater Canal Locks, LA (I)
Calcasieu Pass, LA Bulk Terminal, LA Lake Charles, LA Texas Point, Sabine Pass, TX
Port Arthur, TX Rainbow Bridge, TX    

 

NOS Wind Graphs
Eugene Island, LA Amerada Pass, LA Berwick, LA (M) Freshwater Canal Locks, LA (I)
Calcasieu Pass, LA Texas Point, Sabine Pass, TX Port Arthur, TX  

 

NOS Pressure Graphs
Eugene Island, LA Amerada Pass, LA Berwick, LA (M) Freshwater Canal Locks, LA (M)
Calcasieu Pass, LA Lake Charles, LA Texas Point, Sabine Pass, TX  

M = Missing Data
I = Incomplete Data

Webpage by: Donovan Landreneau
Data collection by: Donovan Landreneau, Jonathan Brazzell, Roger Erickson