LAKE ARTHUR, La. — Conditions were quickly deteriorating around 4 p.m. Central time on Friday as the increasingly ragged eyewall of Hurricane Delta trudged ashore. Winds gusting upward of 60 mph were ongoing south of Interstate 10 in southwestern Louisiana, and will increase dramatically between Lake Charles and Crowley, about 20 miles west of Lafayette, through 7 or 8 p.m.
A gust of 64 mph was measured at Calcasieu Pass, La.
Delta’s eyewall was ingesting dry air shortly before landfall, eroding precipitation south of the center. That means the northern section of the storm will be significantly more intense than the southern, conditions improving dramatically once the eye passes.
Before then, however, the eyewall — laden with gusts of 80 to 95 mph as it moves inland — must move through.
At 4 p.m., the eyewall was about 30 miles from Lake Charles, which could see gusts of 75 or 80 mph. Lake Arthur, Jennings, Welsh and Gueydan, between 25 and 45 miles east of Lake Charles, could see gusts approaching 90 mph or more.
Delta had an unusually large elliptical eye, close to 100 miles wide, a symptom of the expanding wind shield and a slow decrease in intensity. However, damaging winds and a dangerous storm surge are imminent as Delta makes landfall.
In Lake Arthur, set to experience the worst of Delta, the roadways were desolate. Sheets of rain fell, while an automated weather station trucked in for research stood sentry over the worsening weather.
Improvement can be expected south to north beginning around 9 p.m.