What to know about Delta’s direction

This Morning's Satellite showing Gamma and Delta
This Morning's Satellite showing Gamma and Delta

Two storms in the Gulf (again) looks to be the headline this week with Gamma having trouble with the kickstart due to wind shear and eventually being absorbed by stronger Delta. Right now, Delta is forecast to become a Category 2 hurricane with 105-mph winds headed toward Louisiana. Spaghetti models are pretty well aligned with this scenario:

This Morning's Spaghetti Models

Since we’re on models, the American and Euro are also on the same page:

American Model courtesy Tropical Tidbits

Here is the Euro:

European Model this Morning courtesy weathermodels.com

So why exactly does this path seems so certain right now? I always talk about storms following the path of least resistance. With Hurricane Laura, we had competing high-pressure ridges: one to our west and one over Florida and the question was which one would build more strongly -- many of the models suggested the Florida high would be stronger and send Laura to Texas, which as you know didn’t happen.

The Florida high is still there (this is an extension of the Bermuda High), but it’s been beaten down a bit by our cold fronts. And as you can see on the forecast map below, a low-pressure system in the upper atmosphere is expected to be over Texas by mid-week. Those two together will steer Delta toward the northern Gulf Coast:

This set up steers Hurricane Delta to Louisiana

The synoptic set up above seems pretty solid, but there is some question about exactly how the storm will interplay with Gamma and whether its center could shift more west in time. So stay weather aware this week. Right now, the only immediate concerns are at the coast with 1-2′ higher tides, rip currents and off-shore seas of 6-9′.


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About the Author:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with three decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.