Hurricane Delta

Warren Faidley

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Figured I'd start a discussion about Hurricane Delta since the hurricane season is the only play this year and everyone is bored to death.

Rapid intensification is underway no doubt. NHC forecasts Delta to become a major hurricane by tomorrow or early Wednesday. As with October+ hurricanes, strong shear will be a major player by Thursday, with shear forcing the storm rapidly NE into LA... maybe. NHC still has a wide region under their cone of uncertainty. No doubt a dangerous storm although the rapid forward speed and abrupt right turn might prevent a build-up of surge -- as we have seen this year. My biggest concern is that the shear does not weaken the storm as much as expected and it comes ashore as another Laura-class, inland monster in the same region.

I have about 24 hours to make an intercept decision, but ATM I'm not planning on going unless Galveston or Biloxi is threatened in full daylight which is not likely, although this year is so freaky on so many levels..... I'm half-expecting an alien invasion next.
 

Drew Terril

Staff member
It's been a fascinating storm to watch to this point. As rapidly as it will be moving, I suspect interaction with the jet may well help it maintain at least a significant portion of its intensity as it races off to the north and east.

On a side note, I've been very impressed with the HWRF this year on nailing intensity.
 

Warren Faidley

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Looks like Cozumel and Cancun are going to take a direct hit barring any wobbles or tracking shift. Could be a Cat-5 if the eyewall timing is right. I love both those areas for diving and vacationing / drinking. Mexico has done so much to protect the coral, so hopefully the damage will be limited.

As for the US... I'm packed and ready to go. Only option right now is Glaveston via a late flight on Thursday. Nice to see the airlines gouging again, raising the price of a RT ticket to $1,800.00. Glad I have miles on another airline. Hotel and SUV booked way in advance of potential panic should the track shift. Final intercept decision will be based on landfall and timing. I've not written off Galveston yet. If the anticipated shear is weaker than forecast, and the NE turn is delayed, it's game on. Game off if it's a night-falling storm, like every one this year. Latest visible seems to hint of a westward wobble, so anything this far out will have big impact on the final strike zone. I've heard additional balloons are being launched, so the next forecast will be interesting.
 

Warren Faidley

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Looks like some "unexpected" shear is weakening Delta which may be good news for the Yucatan. We'll see if the trend continues overnight.

Edit: Latest models including the 00z GFS is consistent with keeping Delta as a LA swamp storm with no westward shift. LA just can't get a break.
 
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Warren Faidley

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I'm convinced that some evil genius has hidden a "hurricane magnet" on the Louisiana coast. Regardless, I'm not a swamp or inland chaser, although it's enticing to maybe have a daytime landfall for once this year. Offshore flow west of the core will be boring as hell. It will be interesting to see how the surge plays out.

delta-t.jpg
 
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Drew Terril

Staff member
Unless I'm missing something, the troughing that was supposed to kick the storm further east and accelerate is breaking down. Looking at the 00Z runs, most of them (GFS being an outlier) are forecasting a much later landfall, and are forecasting a lower intensity due to spending more time over the much cooler waters in the northern Gulf. So you're probably right in sitting this one out Warren as it looks like it won't be a daylight landfall now. I wouldn't be shocked to see subsequent runs pull landfall further to the west either. I don't know if 6-10 hours slower will affect storm surge significantly, or if the forward motion is still rapid enough to limit that somewhat. I will defer to those who know far more than I do on that. But it is looking like an overnight Friday night landfall.

FYI for those with HF ham capabilities, the hurricane net is planning to activate at 12Z (0800 EDT) on 14.325MHz (USB). Having just moved, I don't have my HF rig set up yet (still working out antenna stuff) but it's usually a very informative net to listen in on.
 

Warren Faidley

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It's basically a ridge-rider right now and the trough to the NE should weaken the ridge enough to allow it to turn right. Pretty straight-forward forecast.

The NHC / models have done a very good job this year of 4-5 day path forecasting. The surge forecast remains to be refined, but it's been my experience that hurricanes approaching from a S/SW direction do not produce the same surge as storms approaching from a long-path, SE direction, e.g, the 1900 Hurricane, Camille and Katrina, to name a few. It's logical when you think about how waves form in front of a vortex. Not a scientific opinion, but I do own a anemometer and I shot rockets when I was 12.
 
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Warren Faidley

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So far, looking like Delta has come in quite mild -- compared to what it could have been at full Cat-3 strength. TWC is desperately trying to find some type of blowing leaf debris, or focusing on loose / blowing roof tarps from previous storms. I also like it when people incorrectly start calling inland and culvert flooding caused by rain "surge."
 

cdcollura

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Good day all,

This is my chase log for hurricane Delta in SW Louisiana (from SE of Lake Charles to the landfall point in Creole). Details are below...

Summary: This area shows pictures taken from the interception and observation of category-two hurricane Delta in southwest Louisiana from southeast of Lake Charles in Calcasieu Parish, and into Creole in the Cameron Parishes. Creole was the landfall point of Delta during the afternoon and evening of October 9, 2020. This dangerous storm originated as a tropical disturbance (one of the late season waves off the African coast) that interacted with the Central American monsoon in the NW Caribbean. This system formed into a tropical depression east of the Yucatan Peninsula and south of Cuba, moving west and northwest. Upon approach to the Mexican coast (NE Yucatan), the depression became a tropical storm, and explosively intensified into a category-four hurricane, with 140 MPH winds, east of the Yucatan Peninsula around October 5. This hurricane weakened (due to the remnants of tropical storm Gamma), and passed over the NE tip of Yucatan as a category-two storm, and producing wing gusts over 100 MPH in Cancun. By October 6, the storm passed north of the Yucatan Peninsula and re-emerged into the southern Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane Delta slowly moved across the southern and western Gulf of Mexico from October 6 through the 8th, and re-intensified to a major hurricane, with winds of 120 MPH (category 3). The storm eventually turned northwest and north, beginning it's re-curvature, and approached the Gulf Coast during the day on Friday, October 9. The storm remained strong, and weakened a bit to a strong category-storm, with 105 MPH winds, owing to cooler waters near the coastline off the Gulf Coast / SW Louisiana. At about 6 PM, CDT, the center of hurricane Delta made landfall at Creole, Louisiana, and headed NNE into the state with 100 MPH winds. This hit the same area devastated by hurricane Laura just 6 weeks prior. Hurricane Delta moved inland during the night of October 9, and began quickly weakening. The storm weakened to a tropical storm / depression by the late day of October 10, and degenerated to a remnant low past Jackson, Mississippi late on October 10 and early on October 11.

I traveled out to Houston late in the day on October 8, via a delayed flight from Los Angeles. I picked up the rental vehicle and headed east to near Baytown off I-10, and to a hotel where another storm chaser, Derek Sibley (meteorologist working in Midland, Texas), who drove out there earlier on October 8. I had an issue booking my hotel room there, and stayed with Derek for the night. The next day, October 9, we woke up and decided to chase in my vehicle, a 2020 Nissan Versa. Derek had some extra supplies, including food, water, and fuel, and packed them into my vehicle. Derek left his vehicle at the hotel in Baytown, and we continued east in mine, targeting the area southeast of Lake Charles, Louisiana. We continued east on I-10 to east of Lake Charles, and south on SR 27, targeting a small coastal / fishing town of Creole as the expected landfall point.

Hurricane Delta approached the area, and we cautiously decided to "ride out" the powerful right-front quadrant of the hurricane, atop an elevated concrete slab (not much of Creole was left after Laura passed through), which was the remnants of a business. The storm made landfall by late afternoon / early evening at our location. Doug Kiesling (from Minnesota) was also in the area, and I caravanned with him at times. As the eyewall hit, the storm surge and strong winds (gusting over 100 MPH) peaked, and I hastily made my way north of Creole on SR 27. Much of this road was underwater, with grass and debris along it. Doug Kiesling found a parking ramp, and rode out the storm back in Creole there. The calm eye was also observed, with blue sky briefly overhead, dead calm winds, birds / bugs flying overhead, and a pressure measured around 972 mb. Inside the calm eye, the waves and surge made a low audible "roar" to the south, and quickly began rising northward up SR 27 a few miles north of Creole.

The second half of the storm came in around 7:30 PM CDT, near dusk, and was observed along SR 27 north of Creole, with wind gusts near 80 MPH once again, albeit lighter rains. We continued north on SR 27 and back towards the SE side of Lake Charles. A slow leak developed in one of our tires, and many roads were blocked by severe flash flooding. We managed to make our way through Lake Charles via I-210 to I-10 west, and eventually out of the storm to the hotel at Baytown. Derek picked up his vehicle there, and we headed west back into Houston, spending the night there by the airport. By October 10, Derek continued on his separate way back home to Midland, Texas, and I stayed an extra day on Houston, enjoying the airshow there during the afternoon of October 10. On October 11, I left Houston, and flew back into Los Angeles. Total mileage was 473 miles for the entire trip.

deldkd.jpg

Above: This is a combination of two shots, from a camera drone flying over the coastline of Creole, Louisiana during the early evening of October 9, 2020, and inside the calm eye of hurricane Delta. The images were taken by storm chaser Doug Kiesling as storm surge was trapping him atop a parking ramp on the east side of Creole. The views are looking down, showing the severe surge flooding, and east, looking at the foggy and brightening sky in the eye of the storm, which packed winds over 100 MPH at landfall. For any inquiries on these pictures, please contact my storm chasing associate Doug Kiesling by visiting his media site at www.StormChasingVideo.com.

delcmap.jpg

Above: This is a chase map for hurricane Delta, from October 8 to 11, 2020. In the main image, the wind swaths (from the National Hurricane Center) of tropical storm / hurricane Delta are shown, stretcing from the the W Caribbean, across the Yucatan Penninsula in Mexico, and the final landfall in SW Louisiana as a dangerous category-2 hurricane late in the day on October 9. The image is annotated, with the target area for the storm chase of this storm in the boxed area. The inset to the lower left shows the details of the chase / target area, mainly on October 9, southeast of Lake Charles (unfortunately) and into Creole, which was the official landfall point. The storm path is shown in yellow, and blue denotes the driving paths during the chase of hurricane Delta. The diagram does not show the flights to and from Los Angeles, California and Houston.

Full video of Hurricane Delta is below...



Pictures are below...

delsat1.jpg

Above: The two images above show hurricane Delta as it was in the NW Gulf of Mexico and taking aim on the SW Louisiana coast from October 8 and 9, 2020. The left is a visible satellite of Delta when the storm was a category three (major) hurricane (with 120 MPH winds) during the late afternoon of October 8. The red "X" on the LA coast is the final landfall point of the storm, which was Creole, Louisiana. In the right image, the storm radar (base reflectivity) image of hurricane Delta is shown off the SW Louisiana coast during the early afternoon of October 9. Note the deep convection of the storm (red "cell" northeast of the eye). This is when the storm was slowly weakening to a category two hurricane, with winds ranging from 100 to 110 MPH. The blue cross-hairs is my location at the time southeast of Lake Charles, LA.

del07.jpg

Above: Twisted rubble and debris along the sides of the road north of Creole, LA. This shows how devastating the storm surge in hurricane Laura must have been there. Debris and rubble was noted strewn across roadways and marshland, and with rising surge and flooding from hurricane Delta, which affected the same area devastated by hurricane Laura by only 5 or 10 miles.

del10.jpg

Above: Powerlines whip as the eyewall of hurricane Delta reaches Creole, LA late in the day on October 9, packing winds over 100 MPH.

del15.jpg

Above: Swift moving water covers the roadway and rushes inland, forming a waterfall over the flood gates and road bed! This surge is rapidly rising from the south, coming in with the eye and core of the hurricane. The eye of hurricane Delta is also approaching from the southwest (brightening sky) during the early evening of October 9.

del17.jpg

Above: Blue sky peeking overhead as the eye of hurricane Delta makes landfall in Creole, Louisiana at around 6 PM CDT on October 9. The winds are rapidly dying down at this point, but the surge water is continuing to rush in.

del22.jpg

Above: During the evening of October 9, the second half of hurricane Delta hits, and the calm eye moves away, giving way to winds gusting over 80 MPH once more, although with lighter rain. Here I am attempting to stand in the winds (with "painful" raindrops) just west of SR 27 north of Creole, LA.

A FULL Report of this chase is available at the link HERE: www.sky-chaser.com/delta20.htm
 
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