Hurricane Delta is bearing down on the same area that was devastated by Hurricane Laura just six weeks ago.
Laura made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana, as a strong Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 150 mph.
Exactly six weeks and one day later, Delta is expected to hit nearly the same location.
Official forecasts call for Delta to intensify to Category 3 – major hurricane strength – by Thursday night, then to make landfall late day on Friday. Delta is expected to cross the coast as a powerful Category 2 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Delta is forecast to bring “life-threatening” storm surge and dangerous winds to US Gulf Coast communities. As it pushes inland, flooding becomes the main concern as the storm drenches areas far inland through the weekend.
It’s happened before
Delta will be the fifth hurricane to make landfall in the US this year – the most since 2005. It will also be the 10th named storm to make landfall this year in the continental US – the most in one year (after 1916, which saw nine landfalls).
Also notable: If Delta crosses the Louisiana coastline, it will mark the fourth named storm to make landfall in the Pelican State in 2020, which is a record for the most there in one season. Already this hurricane season, Cristobal, Marco and Laura have made landfall in Louisiana.
While four may seem like a lot, it is not the record for any state. That title goes to Florida when the state had five separate storms make landfall in 2005.
“Five named storms made landfall in Florida in 2005 (Arlene, Dennis, Katrina, Tammy and Wilma),” says Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist at Colorado State University. “All of these stats only count one landfall per storm per state.”
That is an important distinction since Tropical Storm Fay made a record four landfalls in Florida back in 2008.
While it isn’t common for the same location to be hit by multiple storms in the same season, it does happen.
Most notable was in 2004, when Frances and Jeanne both hit the southern end of Hutchinson Island in Florida.
Harvey hit Louisiana in 2017 relatively close to where Cindy had come ashore. Other cases in which two storms have made landfall around 30 miles or less apart include: Hermine and Colin in 2016 in Florida, Ike and Edouard in 2008 in Texas, and Katrina and Cindy in 2005 in Louisiana.