RALEIGH, N.C. -- Hurricane Delta spent less than 30 minutes as a Category 3 storm Tuesday before reaching Category 4 strength earlier Tuesday.
As of the 11 p.m. update, Delta has slightly weakened but still remains extremely strong as it takes aim at Mexico's Yucatan peninsula.
Hurricane Delta is moving west-northwest at 16 mph with winds up to 130 mph. The storm is currently 135 miles east-southeast of Cozumel.
Forecasters expect Delta to slam into beach resorts from Tulum to Cozumel with an extremely dangerous storm surge of up to 13 feet and even higher waves.
Once it leaves Mexico, it's expected to regain Category 4 status over the Gulf of Mexico as it approaches the U.S. coast, where landfall around Friday would be followed by heavy rainfall across the southeastern United States.
If that happens, Delta would be the first-ever hurricane named after a Greek letter to strike the U.S. mainland.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.