08 November 2008

Paloma becomes season's 5th major hurricane...

At 03Z last night, Paloma was upgraded to a Category 3 hurricane, making it the 5th major hurricane of the season.  What makes this feat remarkable (unprecedented in fact), is that all 5 major hurricanes occurred in 5 separate months!  Bertha was in July, Gustav in August, Ike in September, Omar in October, and now Paloma in November.  Paloma is also now tied for the 2nd strongest November hurricane on record (Michelle has first at 135kts, and Lenny is tied for second at 120kts).

At 15Z today, Paloma's intensity was 120kts and 943mb, making it a CAT4 storm now.  A long radar loop from Camaguey, Cuba can be found at http://einstein.atmos.colostate.edu/~mcnoldy/tropics/paloma08/Paloma_07-09Nov08_cmw.gif

Shortly after making landfall on Cuba, the storm is forecast to rapidly fall apart, due to a combined effect of land and drastically increasing vertical shear.  However, unfortunate for Cuba is that it should make landfall as a major hurricane, delivering very powerful winds, flooding rains, and a 20' storm surge.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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