Forecasts show Category 3 or Category 4 hurricane
Hurricane Delta has caused the shutdown of numerous offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico in anticipation of the storm.
It's likely to cross the northern portion of the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico late today as a Category 4 storm.
"The hurricane is in the midst of a very impressive rapid intensification episode," the NHC said in its latest forecast.
It will then weaken somewhat before restrengthening to a Category 3 or 4 storm and making landfall on the Northern gulf coast late Friday or early Saturday.
"Some weakening is expected due to land interaction, but conditions look ripe for re-intensification over the Gulf of Mexico. Almost all the guidance is higher, now showing Delta reaching category 4 status in the 2-to-3 day time frame, and the new NHC intensity forecast reflects this likelihood," it says.