Travel Alert October 2020: Hurricane Delta to Impact Louisiana and Eastern Texas Gulf Coast of the United States

If the coasts of Louisiana and Texas are in your travel plans over the next few days, you may want to consider delaying your travel — or, at least, keep yourself updated as to the latest information pertaining to the weather — due to Hurricane Delta, whose second landfall is expected to occur somewhere on the Gulf Coast of the United States as soon as Friday afternoon, October 9, 2020.

Travel Alert October 2020: Hurricane Delta to Impact Louisiana and Eastern Texas Gulf Coast of the United States

Hurricane Delta

Source: National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States.

Maximum sustained winds of Hurricane Delta — which is currently centered approximately 65 miles west southwest of Cabo Catoche in Mexico and is moving northwest at 17 miles per hour — are 105 miles per hour, which means that this storm is classified as a strong Category 2 hurricane and is expected to further strengthen as it emerges over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico prior to landfall on the Gulf Coast of the United States, which is forecast to occur on Friday afternoon. The eye of this hurricane is well defined when viewing satellite images of it, which is a sign of a powerful yet organized tropical system which will certainly regain strength as a major hurricane.

A hurricane warning is currently in effect in Mexico from Tulum to Dzilam — as well as Cozumel.

A hurricane watch is currently in effect from High Island in Texas to Grand Isle in Louisiana.

A tropical storm warning is currently in effect in Mexico from Punta Herrero to Tulum and from Dzilam to Progreso.

A tropical storm watch is currently in effect in Texas from San Luis Pass to west of High Island Texas; and from east of Grand Isle in Louisiana to Bay Saint Louis in Mississippi — which includes the city of New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain, and Lake Maurepas.

Landfall of Hurricane Delta occurred approximately midway between the resort towns of Cancun and Playa del Carmen in Puerto Morelos on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico this morning, Wednesday, October 7, 2020 as a Category 2 hurricane.

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If you are traveling to or from the coasts of Louisiana and Texas over the next few days, expect delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to this tropical weather system which may adversely affect your travel plans. Better yet, postponing or canceling your trip might be a better option — no matter which mode of travel you plan on taking.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary.

Here are four airlines which have issued travel alerts — or are at least monitoring the storm — as a result of this tropical weather system:

  • American Airlines has issued travel alerts for six cities in two states for Thursday, October 8, 2020 through Saturday, October 10, 2020; and Thursday, October 15, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Delta Air Lines has issued travel alerts for four cities in Louisiana for Thursday, October 8, 2020 through Saturday, October 10, 2020; and Thursday, October 15, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • JetBlue Airways has issued a travel alert for New Orleans for Thursday, October 8, 2020 through Saturday, October 10, 2020; and Thursday, October 15, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Frontier Airlines has issued travel alerts for New Orleans and Pensacola for Friday, October 9, 2020 through Saturday, October 10, 2020; and Thursday, October 22, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.

Summary

For travel advisories pertaining to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, please refer to this article.

The year 2005 was the most active year in recorded history in terms of 27 total named tropical systems, with Tropical Storm Zeta as the last storm of that season. Only three more named storms are needed for the year 2020 to break that record.

I personally believe that the National Weather Service of the United States and other official weather authorities should consider using the letters Q, U, X, Y, and Z to name tropical systems — especially with the inclusion of names which are not common in the United States. Quincy, Ursula, Xavier, Yvonne, and Zachary all come immediately to my mind to name storms which usually do not require those letters during a typical season. Only once the entire alphabet has been exhausted should the characters of the Greek alphabet be used…

…but at least Delta Air Lines gets some indirect free publicity out of this hurricane. How often do you see Delta Air Lines issue a travel alert for Hurricane Delta?

As far as I know, the name of a tropical system after a character of the Greek alphabet has never been retired. What happens if a storm is strong enough to warrant the name being retired and it is named after a character of the Greek alphabet?

Be sure to contact your airline or transportation provider for the latest information pertaining to your travels — if they are adversely affected — and please: travel safely.

Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce of the United States.

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