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Update on dangerous Hurricane Delta and Long Island weather with gusty winds coming:

Hurricane Delta continues to rapidly intensify and now has maximum sustained winds of 100 mph and a minimum central pressure of 968 mb. It's expected to become a dangerous Category 3 hurricane today, and the HWRF is showing it becoming a Cat 4 with a pressure of 928 mb as it makes landfall just north of Cancun tomorrow morning. It's expected to make landfall in Louisiana to the west of New Orleans on Friday evening as a Cat 2 or Cat 3. The Euro ensembles are farther west than the GFS ensembles, and I think the GFS ensembles will end up being more accurate.

The following is from the National Hurricane Center forecast discussion: "The hurricane is in the midst of a very impressive rapid intensification episode, having strengthened over 50 knots during the past 24 hours. I honestly don't see much that will stop it until it reaches Yucatan, due to low vertical wind shear, high deep-layer moisture, and the very warm and deep waters of the northwestern Caribbean. This is also supported by SHIPS rapid intensification probabilities that are well above 50 percent for most categories. Thus, the intensity forecast is raised to 115 kt near Yucatan landfall, closest to the HWRF forecast model, which has been a good performer this year, especially after ingesting NOAA radar data. Some weakening is expected due to land interaction, but conditions look ripe for re-intensification over the Gulf of Mexico. Almost all the guidance is higher, now showing Delta reaching category 4 status in the 2-to-3 day time frame, and the new NHC intensity forecast reflects this likelihood. However, an increase in southwesterly shear and cooler shelf waters near the northern Gulf coast should promote weakening, and little change has been made to the intensity forecast near landfall."

Long Island forecast:

Today: Partly to mostly cloudy in the morning with a 20% chance of a passing shower, and then becoming mostly sunny in the afternoon with highs around 70 degrees.

Tomorrow: Partly cloudy and becoming windy in the afternoon with highs in the low 70's. There is a 30% chance of some showers in the afternoon and evening as the cold front moves through. Wind gusts up to 35 mph are possible, initially from the WSW and then shifting to WNW in the evening as the front passes, and wind gusts up to 40 mph can't be ruled out. Any thunderstorms with potential hail should stay north of Long Island. 

Thursday: Mostly sunny and still a little breezy with highs mostly in the mid 60's.

Friday: Mostly sunny with highs in the low to mid 60's.

Saturday: Partly cloudy with highs around 70 degrees.

Sunday: Partly to mostly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers.

- 1st image: Official forecast map from the National Hurricane Center

- 2nd image (video): Current IR satellite loop

- 3rd and 4th images: Projected from the HWRF model for 8 AM tomorrow and 2 PM Friday

- 5th and 6th images: GFS ensembles and Euro ensembles for the next 5 days, respectively

- 7th image: Projected rainfall for the next 7 days from the Weather Prediction Center

- 8th image: Projected temperatures for Long Island for the next 10 days from the National Weather Service model blend

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