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Weather Nerd

Paloma hits Cuba as a Category 3

November 8th, 2008 - 7:49 pm

Hurricane Paloma made landfall near Santa Cruz del Sur in Cuba this evening, after a faster-than-expected approach to the island, as a Category 3 hurricane with 125 mph winds.

Storm Carib continues to have coverage.

UPDATE: From the 10pm EST discussion:

THE LAST AIR FORCE RESERVE RECON REPORT AT [6:05 PM] INDICATED A MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE OF 968 MB…WITH AN EARLIER MAXIMUM FLIGHT-LEVEL WIND OF [136 MPH] IN THE SOUTHEAST QUADRANT. SINCE THAT TIME…PALOMA HAS MOVED INLAND AND THE COMBINED EFFECTS OF MODERATE VERTICAL WIND SHEAR…DRY AIR ENTRAINMENT FROM TH SOUTH…AND LAND INTERACTION WITH CUBA HAS SIGNIFICANTLY DEGRADED THE CONVECTIVE ORGANIZATION AS NOTED IN SATELLITE IMAGERY. HOWEVER…RADAR DATA FROM CAMAGUEY CUBA ARE STILL INDICATING STRONG CONVECTIVE BANDING OF 50 DBZ AND HIGHER VALUES COMPRISING THE NORTHERN EYEWALL. BASED ON THIS INFORMATION AND THE POSSIBILITY THAT STRONG WINDS STILL EXIST OVER THE OPEN WATERS OF THE GULF OF GUACANAYABO…THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS ONLY DECREASED TO [115 MPH]…MAINTAINING PALOMA AS A MAJOR HURRICANE. . . .

PALOMA SHOULD CONTINUE TO WEAKEN DUE TO INCREASING VERTICAL SHEAR AND LAND INTERACTION WITH CUBA FOR THE NEXT 12-18 HOURS. AFTER EMERGING OVER THE ATLANTIC OCEAN…STRONG UPPER-LEVEL WESTERLY SHEAR SHOULD BE THE MAIN WEAKENING FACTOR. HOWEVER . . . MOST OF THE GLOBAL MODELS ARE FORECASTING THE MID-LEVEL FLOW BELOW 30,000 FT TO DECREASE TO 15-20 KT…WHICH COULD ALLOW FOR SOME MODERATE CONVECTION TO PERSIST NEAR THE LOW-LEVEL CENTER…AND MAINTAIN PALOMA AS A TROPICAL OR SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE. THIS SCENARIO IS ALSO SUPPORTED BY THE MODELS FORECASTING UNUSUALLY COLD 200 MB TEMPERATURES OF AROUND -55C…WHICH WOULD ACT TO INCREASE THE INSTABILITY AND SUPPORT CONVECTIVE DEVELOPMENT BEYOND 72 HOURS.

Thefofficial forecast track calls for Paloma to curve back west into the Bahamas as a weakening storm, then a remnant low.

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