Tropical Weather

Danielle Fontenot runs to a relative's home in the rain with her son Hunter ahead of Hurricane Delta, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020, in Lake Charles, La. Forecasters said Delta — the 25th named storm of an unprecedented Atlantic hurricane season — would likely crash ashore Friday evening somewhere on southwest Louisiana's coast.

Forecasters aren’t ready to give Cullman County an all-clear signal from the potential for severe weather stemming from Hurricane Delta. But they do anticipate that the brunt of the storm’s inland energy will be felt in Mississippi, and in Alabama counties farther west.

The Category 2 hurricane made landfall in southwest Louisiana late Friday, and is expected to track northeast through Mississippi, leaving Alabama on the storm’s more active eastern side.

Cullman Emergency Management Agency director Phyllis Little said Friday that local residents are in for rain and some strong winds for sure, with the risk of stronger storms and tornadoes lower — but still slight. “We’re going to get rain and gusty winds, Saturday night into Sunday morning especially,” she said.

“Of course, just as always, the weather service won’t rule out the possibility of marginally severe storms or a quick spin-up tornado. But their confidence is lower that we’ll see those things. We can definitely expect a rainy weekend, with some wind gusts.”

Little said local responders had not observed evacuees from the storm finding their way this far north, as with major past hurricanes. Delta’s slight shift to the west on Thursday prompted Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to call off the mandatory Gulf Coast evacuation order she originally had issued two days earlier.

Delta is the 25th named storm of this year’s busy Atlantic Hurricane season, and the tenth to make landfall in the U.S. There’s more than a month left on the official hurricane season timeline, as the World Meteorological Organization dips farther into the Greek alphabet (for only the second time since the naming convention began in 1979) to name new storms. Hurricane season will finally come to a welcome end on Nov. 30.

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