Kaitlin Wright, a meteorologist at the WCCB Charlotte, posted a radar image on Saturday of Delta as it approached Louisiana. Her caption read, "CREEPY FACE! Do you see it?" The image came just in time for Halloween, with one person commenting it was "fitting for October."
The post lit up an online firestorm as thousands of people reacted to the diabolical face. Many people were spooked, calling it the shape of "a wolf" or a "devil trying to crawl out." One was more vivid: "a Louisiana devil with horns and a tail."
Some people believed that the weird face was a sign either from above or "a voodoo man" or "Satan." In any case, one person thought that it came from "someone trying to tell us something."
But Delta, which made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane on Friday, likely won't wreak further damage as it has continued to weaken in recent days. The National Hurricane Center said that the hurricane downgraded into a tropical storm as it moved over central and north Louisiana.
Nonetheless, it did bring strong winds and heavy rain when it entered the state. One resident of Lafayette, Jeanne-Marie Gove, reported hearing debris hitting her front door and her patio gate rattling open and shut. The roof of a trailer parked near her home got torn off and tossed down the sidewalk.
“The wind is much worse than what Hurricane Laura brought,” said Gove. Delta came at the heels of Hurricane Laura, which slammed Louisiana in late August and caused billions in damage. The state is still reeling from Laura, and recovery is expected to be set back by several weeks.
As Delta became the 25th named storm out of the Atlantic, this year's hurricane season is shaping up to be among the busiest in recent memory. Delta is also the 10th named storm to make landfall in the United States this year, surpassing the previous record of nine storms in 1916. (Related: 2020 gets "weirder" as Australia gets blanketed by snow not seen since the '70s.)
Delta wasn't the only hurricane that creeped people out with its weird radar pattern. Satellite images of Hurricane Matthew and Harvey similarly caused a stir after several people made out eerie shapes similar to those on Delta's.
When Matthew was crossing over the west side of Haiti in 2016, a colorized image of its eye showed what looked like a "skull" sneering at its observer. People described the shape as an "evil devil man" or the ghost of "Harambe," a zoo gorilla that died after being shot and later became a popular internet meme.
Meanwhile, when Harvey struck Texas in 2017, a radar image captured what many people described as the face of a crying child.
While there's no scientific basis for these observations and the inferences made out of them, these hurricanes nevertheless left extensive damage and losses. Matthew, a Category 4 hurricane when it hit Haiti, was said to have caused the country's largest humanitarian crisis since the 2010 earthquake. It affected more than two million people and left a million in need of humanitarian assistance.
Harvey, a Category 4 hurricane when it made landfall in Louisiana and Texas, was the first major storm in the U.S. (Category 3 or higher) since Hurricane Wilma hit Florida in 2005. It's also the second-costliest hurricane on record to hit the U.S. mainland after Hurricane Katrina.
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