07 November 2008

Paloma becomes season's 8th hurricane...

As expected, the storm continued to strengthen, and late last night was upgraded to Hurricane Paloma.  As of 15Z today, the intensity is 75kts with a minimum central pressure of 979mb.  It is crawling north at 6kts toward central Cuba.  The satellite presentation is becoming very impressive and it could become the season's 5th major hurricane.

The last major hurricane in November was Michelle 2001 (reached 120kts on Nov 4th as it neared central Cuba... VERY similar to Paloma). The last storm that FORMED in November and became a major hurricane was Lenny 1999, which reached a peak intensity of 135kts on November 17th.  So November is no stranger to very intense hurricanes!

Paloma is forecast to intensify to a CAT3 hurricane before it hits central Cuba this weekend.  A major consideration however, is increasing vertical shear in about a day... so if it will reach CAT3 intensity, it needs to do so quickly. There will (hopefully) be a coherent radar loop from Camaguey at http://einstein.atmos.colostate.edu/~mcnoldy/tropics/paloma08/Paloma_06Nov08_cmw.gif but so far, there have been substantial server glitches preventing reliable data transfers.  The Cuban meteorological service is looking into it though.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

No comments:

Post a Comment