MISSOULA — Hurricane Delta:
Earlier this hurricane season, we went through all the 2020 designated storm names, and when this happens, we turn to the Greek alphabet to name new storms.
We have been through Alpha, Beta, and Gamma, and now are tracking Hurricane Delta.
After making landfall over the Yucatan Peninsula yesterday, Hurricane Delta has made it back into the open and warm water of the Gulf.
This means strengthening will occur over the next few hours as Hurricane Delta sets its sights on the Gulf Coast.
Hurricane Delta currently sits as a Category 2 hurricane as of 3 PM on Thursday afternoon.
Strengthening will continue to occur and Hurricane Delta is forecasted to become a Category 3 hurricane as it approaches the Texas/Louisiana coast.
Weakening just before landfall, Delta is forecasted to make landfall as a Category 2 Hurricane on the western Louisianan coastline.
If this spot sounds familiar, it is because back a few weeks ago, a Category 4 hurricane just devastated the same area. Hurricane Laura was the strongest hurricane to make landfall on the Louisiana coast, and people are still recovering from Hurricane Laura’s path of destruction as Hurricane Delta now approaches.
Hurricane Delta is forecasted to make landfall Friday just a few miles from Hurricane Laura’s landfall mark.
Our forecast remains warm and mostly sunny through the end of the work week.
We’ve seen some clouds start to move in, and those have been mixing with a bit of smoke from the wildfires on the west coast.
Air quality will fluctuate between good and moderate on Friday, too.
The big changes to our forecast are still set to move in on Saturday.
A trough and associated cold front will dip down from the northwest.
This will bring a big temperature drop, and highs go from the mid to low 70s to end the week to the 50s and 60s to begin the weekend.
Wind will also pick up, and we can expect breezy conditions through the weekend.
We won’t just be dealing with wind and cold air, because rain moves in for the first time since late September.
Rain will remain in the forecast through the weekend and into next week, too.
These showers will be widespread and on and off throughout the weekend, so it will be a soggy and chilly October weekend.
Backcountry conditions will be slushy as wet, heavy snow is likely in areas above 5,000 feet this weakened.
On top of that, the wind will make it feel much cooler especially on ridge tops, and visibility will be reduced due to blowing snow.