Category 4 Hurricane Delta Intensifies and Threatens Cancun, Gulf Coast

Hurricane Delta - Intense Cat 4
National Hurricane Center

There has been a bit of positivity over the last few months as Cancun turned 50 earlier this year, the first commercial flight from Europe arrived in Cancun just days ago, and people started to travel again.

Now this …

In a nutshell: Hurricane Delta intensified to a Category 4 and the northeastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula is on high alert.

Life-threatening winds and storm surge have been projected and it’s expected to hit the area late evening into the early morning hours on Wednesday according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

And, according to, Delta became the 25th tropical storm in 2020 and the first major hurricane in October since 2018’s Hurricane Michael.  Hurricane Delta is also the most extreme in the last 15-years for an October hurricane.

Carlos Joaquín, Quintana Roo’s Governor, ordered evacuations this morning for Cancun, Puerto Morelos, Isla Holbox, Isla Mujeres, and other coastal areas in Quintana Roo.

Resorts are being evacuated and they are busing guests inland to government shelters. Some resorts with buildings equipped for major hurricanes are able to shelter guests.

Karisma Hotels & Resorts is evacuating guests from El Dorado Maroma. Palafitos Overwater Bungalows, Hidden Beach, and Margaritaville Island Reserve Riviera Cancun to El Dorado Seaside Palms, which is their southernmost property at 100 km south of Cancun.

Karisma guests currently staying at El Dorado Royale, El Dorado Casitas and Generations Riviera Maya are being relocated to the villas at El Dorado Royale, located furthest from the beach.

If you’re currently traveling, be sure to check in with your airline for change/cancel waivers and if you’re already in Cancun/Yucatan be sure to take all of your valuables with you i.e. passports, tourist cards, money/credit cards, phones/chargers, medications.

As of 5 p.m. (EDT) on Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center reported that Delta is about 215 miles east-southeast of Cozumel with winds of 145 mph. Additional strengthening is possible before the center reaches the Yucatan peninsula late tonight or early Wednesday. It’s possible that this could become a category 5.   NHC also reported that re-strengthening is in the forecast when the hurricane moves over the southern Gulf of Mexico Wednesday night and Thursday.

What will Storm Surge, Wind, Surf, and Rainfall be like for Hurricane Delta?

    • An extremely dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 7 to 11 feet above normal tide levels along the coast of the Yucatan peninsula.
    • The surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves near the coast.
    • Hurricane conditions in the Yucatan Peninsula are expected early Wednesday, with tropical storm conditions beginning later today or tonight.
    • Tropical storm conditions are expected in the tropical storm warning area tonight and Wednesday.
    • 4-6 inches of rainfall are expected from Hurricane Delta with a maximum total of 10 inches in isolated areas of northern Yucatan Peninsula through midweek.
    • Flash flooding is possible in these areas.
    • Swells will affect areas around the northwestern Caribbean Sea for the next day or so and may likely cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Western Cuba and portions of the Cayman Islands are also affected over the next few days as Hurricane Delta is expected to produce 2 to 4 inches of rain.  The rainfall may cause flash floods and mudslides.

Will Hurricane Delta Affect the US?

According to the National Hurricane Center, it’s expected that Delta will bring heavy rain and flash floods to portions of the central Gulf Coast, Tennessee Valley, Louisiana, and southeastern United States.

Gamma, the other tropical storm in the area, is about 125 miles northwest of Cozumel with 35 mph winds and is weakening. The NHC says it will likely dissipate by Wednesday.

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About Donna Adinolfi 248 Articles
Donna Adinolfi is a wellness travel expert, a freelance writer, an award-winning photographer, and the founder/publisher of Her 30+ year career includes serving as the Travel & Spa Editor of Balance Magazine as well as planning wellness travel & retreats. An avid fan of the freedom from carrying cash or credit cards, Donna loves to visit all-inclusive wellness resorts in the U.S, and traveling to some of Mexico's and the Caribbean's many all-inclusive resorts several times each year. She's also a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association.
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