MIAMI — A strengthening Hurricane Delta was on a course to pass by the Cayman Islands early Tuesday before hitting Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula as a major storm and continuing on to strike the U.S. Gulf coast later in the week.
At 11 p.m. Monday, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph.
SPECIAL COVERAGE: Hurricane Survival Guide
As Delta shifted west Monday, Cuba withdrew a hurricane warning for its province of Pinar del Rio and replaced it with a tropical storm warning. There is also a tropical storm warning for the Cayman Islands.
But the brunt of the hurricane was expected to be felt by Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, which was forecast to start seeing hurricane conditions Tuesday night with the storm reaching land early Wednesday.
Delta is forecast to be over the south-central Gulf of Mexico late Wednesday and Thursday.
Current models show the storm hitting Louisiana as a Category 2 or Category 3 storm Friday night.