Paloma forms and steadily intensifies

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:17 PM GMT on November 06, 2008

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Tropical Storm Paloma formed last night, and is steadily strengthening. Visible satellite images show a significant increase in organization of the storm is occurring, with low level spiral bands beginning to wrap around the center and upper level outflow expanding on all sides except to the south. Recent microwave images (Figure 1) indicate that Paloma is already starting to build an eyewall.


Figure 1. Microwave image of Paloma at 7:15 am EST Thursday November 6, 2008. A partial eyewall is evident on the southeast side of the center. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

The intensity forecast
Wind shear has dropped to a very low 0-5 knots, and is expected to remain very low, 0-5 knots, over the next day. Wind shear will increase to 10-15 knots Friday and Saturday, as the storm heads north, but I don't expect Paloma will stop intensifying until it crosses 20° North Latitude (between the Cayman Islands and Cuba) Saturday night, when the shear will increase to 30-50 knots. Water temperatures are warm, 29°C, and this warm water extends to great depth. These are very favorable conditions for intensification, and Paloma should be a hurricane by Friday. I expect Paloma will be a Category 2 or 3 hurricane when it passes through the Cayman Islands on Saturday. The latest (6Z, 1am EST) of the HWRF model predicts Paloma will pass though the Cayman Islands on Saturday morning as a Category 3 hurricane. The GFDL and SHIPS intensity models are less aggressive, predicting a Category 1 hurricane. I believe a Category 3 hurricane is more likely than a Category 1 hurricane for the Cayman Islands, and Paloma has the potential to imitate Hurricane Michelle of 2001. Michelle formed in the same region at the same time of year, and took just three days to intensify from a tropical depression to a Category 4 hurricane. Michelle made landfall in central Cuba as a Category 4 hurricane, then weakened to a Category 1 hurricane as it passed through the Bahamas. Paloma will likely be a Category 1 or 2 hurricane at landfall in Cuba, and a strong tropical storm with 60-70 mph winds in the Bahamas.

The track forecast
A strong trough of low pressure approaching the U.S. East Coast is pulling Paloma to the north, and this trough should continue to pull the storm northwards and then turn it northeastward by Saturday. Several major models--the NOGAPS, GFS, and ECMWF--predict that Paloma will be torn in two by the wind shear just south of Cuba, with the low level remnants getting forced westward towards the Yucatan Peninsula. This solution seems unlikely, given the fact that Paloma is likely to grow much stronger and more resistant to wind shear than these models are predicting. I expect Paloma will follow the track of the GFDL, HWRF, and GFS models, which show the storm may pass very close to Grand Cayman Island on Saturday, then make landfall in southern Cuba on Sunday and continue on through the central Bahamas.

Links to follow
Wundermap for 16N 83W

I'll have an update this afternoon. A new Hurricane Hunter plane is on its way to Paloma, and should arrive at the center around 1 pm EST.

Jeff Masters

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242. kmanhurricaneman
12:20 AM GMT on November 07, 2008
CAYMAN PALOMA WILL BE HERE BY 9-10 IN THE AM
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1002
241. kmanhurricaneman
12:08 AM GMT on November 07, 2008
OUCH!!!
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1002
240. kmanhurricaneman
12:07 AM GMT on November 07, 2008
000
WTNT32 KNHC 062357
TCPAT2
BULLETIN
HURRICANE PALOMA INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 5A...CORRECTED
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL172008
700 PM EST THU NOV 06 2008

CORRECTED HURRICANE STATUS IN LOCATION PARAGRAPH

...PALOMA RAPIDLY STRENGTHENS INTO A CATEGORY 1 HURRICANE...

A HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE CAYMAN ISLANDS. A
HURRICANE WARNING MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED
WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS. PREPARATIONS TO
PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION.

INTERESTS IN CUBA AND JAMAICA SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF PALOMA.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE
INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED
BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

AT 700 PM EST...0000Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE PALOMA WAS LOCATED
NEAR LATITUDE 16.9 NORTH...LONGITUDE 81.7 WEST OR ABOUT 165
MILES...270 KM...SOUTH OF GRAND CAYMAN AND ABOUT 280 MILES...450 KM
...WEST-SOUTHWEST OF MONTEGO BAY JAMAICA.

PALOMA IS NOW MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH NEAR 12 MPH...19 KM/HR. THIS
GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TONIGHT AND MOST OF DAY ON
FRIDAY...WITH A GRADUAL TURN TOWARD THE NORTHEAST FORECAST TO OCCUR
LATE FRIDAY AND ON SATURDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 75 MPH...120
KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. PALOMA IS NOW A CATEGORY 1 HURRICANE ON
THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE SCALE. PALOMA CONTINUES TO RAPIDLY
ORGANIZE AND ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS LIKELY. PALOMA IS EXPECTED
TO BECOME A CATEGORY 2 HURRICANE ON FRIDAY.

TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 70 MILES...110 KM
FROM THE CENTER. DURING THE PAST HOUR...NOAA BUOY 42057 LOCATED
JUST EAST OF THE CENTER REPORTED A ONE-MINUTE SUSTAINED WIND OF
71 MPH...115 KM/HR AND A WIND GUST TO 78 MPH...126 KM/HR.

THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE ESTIMATED BY DATA FROM THE NEARBY NOAA
BUOY IS 987 MB...29.15 INCHES.

PALOMA IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 4 TO 8
INCHES OF RAIN OVER THE CAYMAN ISLANDS WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM TOTALS
OF 12 INCHES POSSIBLE.

REPEATING THE 700 PM EST POSITION...16.9 N...81.7 W. MOVEMENT
TOWARD...NORTH NEAR 12 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...75 MPH.
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...987 MB.

THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER
AT 1000 PM EST.

$$
FORECASTER STEWART




Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1002
239. atmoaggie
11:16 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Quoting Brillig:


Anyone have a link to a good animated isobar map of the region/hemisphere?


Cannot find a good one ready-made and freely available. One method might be to download the 0 hour forecast (nowcast) MSLP plots from GFS runs for the last couple of days and make them loop. Gotta go...later, all.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
238. atmoaggie
10:59 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Our nearest buoy is really beginning to catch some wind

Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
237. Brillig
10:46 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Quoting atmoaggie:


Answer: probably both. The environment for Paloma to initially develop would show a pressure depression and then Paloma's own deepening 87 NM to the south. Good comment, though...someone in Austin is actually paying attention.. ;-)


Anyone have a link to a good animated isobar map of the region/hemisphere?
Member Since: June 23, 2006 Posts: 20 Comments: 408
236. Orcasystems
9:51 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Complete Blog Refresh
Mirror Site (New Format)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
235. atmoaggie
8:41 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Quoting TheTracker08:
Thank you furure met! Just so you know, im getting my A.A in Meteorology and ive already won a free trip to the American Meteorological Council Meeting in Pheonix Arizona in January from my professor and im taking a General Meteorology class just to be ahead once i begin my B.A in the field, my avg score in the class is a 96%!. You seem to be quite intelligent, become a student member if youre a student in highschool or a college student member if you are in college, im a part of the college membership. its awesome, and you get lots of discounts on books and such!


Further: If you were a student member, they will also discount your full membership for a while right after you graduate.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
234. Seastep
8:41 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
NHC giving better chance of a Cat2 than a Cat1 in 36 hours.

Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
233. Skyepony (Mod)
8:34 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 174 Comments: 38155
232. Stormchaser2007
8:33 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15921
231. Cotillion
8:14 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Quoting MichaelSTL:


http://www.palomavineyard.com/home.asp

LOL


Haha!

Well spotted, sir!
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
230. atmoaggie
8:14 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Quoting Brillig:


Is that local or regional? Compare to the graph from my station in Austin, Texas. The upturn at the end is from the dry line that went through last night.


Answer: probably both. The environment for Paloma to initially develop would show a pressure depression and then Paloma's own deepening 87 NM to the south. Good comment, though...someone in Austin is actually paying attention.. ;-)
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
229. hurricanealley
8:12 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Quoting TheTracker08:
id rather it come to FL then anywhere else, they need a break, we can definatly handle a Catagory 1 or 2, bring it Paloma!, ill be waiting in S FL for ya!


It won't hit FL
Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 971
228. TheTracker08
8:10 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
id rather it come to FL then anywhere else, they need a break, we can definatly handle a Catagory 1 or 2, bring it Paloma!, ill be waiting in S FL for ya!
227. Brillig
8:08 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Quoting atmoaggie:
Buoy 42057, 87 nm northish is feeling the pressure change on it's barometer



Is that local or regional? Compare to the graph from my station in Austin, Texas. The upturn at the end is from the dry line that went through last night.
Member Since: June 23, 2006 Posts: 20 Comments: 408
226. Skyepony (Mod)
8:06 PM GMT on November 06, 2008

Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 6th day of the month at 19:33Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 303)
Mission: Non-Tasked Mission, possibly not tropical (in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Identifier: Paloma1
Mission Number: 3
Observation Number: 16
A. Time of Center Fix: 6th day of the month at 19:20:20Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 16°13'N 81°48'W (16.2167N 81.8W)
B. Center Fix Location: 215 miles (346 km) to the S (187°) from George Town, Cayman Islands (GBR).
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: 1,370m (4,495ft) at 850mb
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 52kts (~ 59.8mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 16 nautical miles (18 statute miles) to the SSE (165°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 262° at 52kts (From the W at ~ 59.8mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 17 nautical miles (20 statute miles) to the SSE (166°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 994mb (29.35 inHg)
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 17°C (63°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,545m (5,069ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 19°C (66°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,505m (4,938ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 17°C (63°F)
K. Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Open in the southwest
M. Eye Shape & Diameter: Circular with a diameter of 17 nautical miles (20 statute miles)
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Radar, Wind, Pressure and Temperature
N. Fix Level: 850mb
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 2 nautical miles
Remarks Section - Remarks That Were Decoded...
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 61kts (~ 70.2mph) in the southeast quadrant at 17:11:40Z
Maximum Flight Level Wind Outbound: 60kts (~ 69.0mph) in the north quadrant at 19:24:10Z
Maximum Flight Level Temp: 21°C (70°F) which was observed 9 nautical miles to the SSE (155°) from the flight level center
Remarks Section - Additional Remarks...
INFRQ LTG S EYEWALL, LGT TURBC N EYEWALL

Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 174 Comments: 38155
225. hurricanealley
8:05 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Quoting Vortex95:
CMC is not that reliable for me I believe that the storm will be impacted by the front and sent outwards.


Yep
Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 971
224. TheTracker08
8:05 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Models act kind of algebreic, one screw up with a sign, and the whole problem goes haywire! Be careful people, dont be too confident!
222. TheTracker08
8:02 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Thank you furure met! Just so you know, im getting my A.A in Meteorology and ive already won a free trip to the American Meteorological Council Meeting in Pheonix Arizona in January from my professor and im taking a General Meteorology class just to be ahead once i begin my B.A in the field, my avg score in the class is a 96%!. You seem to be quite intelligent, become a student member if youre a student in highschool or a college student member if you are in college, im a part of the college membership. its awesome, and you get lots of discounts on books and such!
220. CybrTeddy
8:01 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Someone post the new Tracks?
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24169
219. o311
8:00 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Paloma is east of her tracking position on the wunderground flash-tracker.
218. eddye
7:59 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
watch out fl another wilma maybe a cat 2 hurricane this weekedn going to ruin my birthday and the dolphins game this weekend that stinks the one i was going to go this weekend to the game
Member Since: August 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1280
217. Orcasystems
7:56 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Complete Blog Refresh
Mirror Site (New Format)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
216. futuremet
7:54 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Quoting TheTracker08:
We MUST watch it closly!!!!!!!!!!!!! the models are 50/50


Definitly....look at the GFS ensemble models. The majority of them are in agreement with the CMC.

Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
215. CaymanGirlSailR
7:51 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
A lot of fast moving low-level cloud action here in Grand Cayman at the moment. The ground here is already flooded from last week's rains. Starting to reprovision supplies. Loss of electricity is probable, since we experienced "brown outs" last night. How long until next update?
214. TampaSpin
7:51 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Really starting to wrap.....wow..

Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
213. CybrTeddy
7:50 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Quoting atmoaggie:


Sometimes does, but seemingly only when it is real. Here is the same thing right before Gustav got his act together...very messy.

Further: Winds on open water driven by geostrophic balance between Coriolis and pressure gradient are just that...a perfect circulation.

EDIT: Whisky Tango Foxtrot...where is the plot?



India Delta Kilo
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24169
211. TheTracker08
7:49 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
We MUST watch it closly!!!!!!!!!!!!! the models are 50/50
210. futuremet
7:49 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
It seems that Paloma has strengthened quite a bit today, and the model consensus is still ambiguous.
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
209. atmoaggie
7:49 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
OK, last try for the satellite Gustav example:
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
208. TampaSpin
7:41 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Quoting weathers4me:
Instead of the models coming in better agreement they are starting to split now. IMO


I see the same thing happening......in fact the NGP model as this first front missing Paloma....
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
207. atmoaggie
7:40 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


That product almost always shows a perfect circulation....Even in tropical disturbances. Although I agree that Paloma has a solid eye wall.


Sometimes does, but seemingly only when it is real. Here is the same thing right before Gustav got his act together...very messy.

Further: Winds on open water driven by geostrophic balance between Coriolis and pressure gradient are just that...a perfect circulation.

EDIT: Whisky Tango Foxtrot...where is the plot?

Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
206. weathers4me
7:40 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Instead of the models coming in better agreement they are starting to split now. IMO
Member Since: May 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 118
205. atmoaggie
7:37 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Buoy 42057, 87 nm northish is feeling the pressure change on it's barometer

Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
204. Stormchaser2007
7:35 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Quoting atmoaggie:
The satellite wind measures are seeing a nice eyewall. Really putting it together for a late-season TS



That product almost always shows a perfect circulation....Even in tropical disturbances. Although I agree that Paloma has a solid eye wall.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15921
203. XL
7:34 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Well I have taken delivery of a new puppy today - really not looking forward to going through a hurricane with her so young but at least I will have her with me.
Hubby was meant to be flying to Brazil on Friday - now cancelled and I am meant to have friends arriving from the UK on Sunday evening for a short visit.
Looks like Paloma is going to trash all my plans - fingers crossed that it is only plans that she ruins
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 92
202. atmoaggie
7:33 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
The satellite wind measures are seeing a nice eyewall. Really putting it together for a late-season TS

Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
201. Stormchaser2007
7:32 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Next Advisory will probably be:
Winds:65mph
Pressure:993mb
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15921
200. CaymanGirlSailR
7:31 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Greetings from Grand Cayman. Like a country song we say, "Ya know it is Cayman when it's time to take the boards down and put the Christmas lights up." Michelle and Mitch were both November damaging storms. I was actually sailing from Jamaica during Mitch and back then, the TV weather channel didn't even have us on their map. This is going to cause a lot of flooding as the ground is already saturated from this week's rain. Time to pull the boat out and stock up again...
199. weathers4me
7:30 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Models not in good consensus. No eyewall can lead to missing the front and following the CMC which calls for it meandering until the next front pulls it out to sea.
Member Since: May 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 118
198. yannik29
7:30 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
pres. down to 993
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 11
197. Stormchaser2007
7:29 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15921
196. jambev
7:27 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
All NHC bulletins are issued at UTC or Z which remains the same irrespective of day light saving. Thus with the clocks going back one hour from last Sunday, the latest bulletins wiil be one hour earlier than the summer.
Member Since: October 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 52
195. Stormchaser2007
7:20 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Every update is moved forward by 1 hour now...

EX:
TROPICAL STORM PALOMA INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 4A
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL172008
100 PM EST THU NOV 06 2008

The updates are at:
1am
4am
7am
10am
1pm
4pm
7pm
10pm
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15921
194. TampaSpin
7:19 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Quoting TampaSpin:
Remember the National Hurricane Center are the Professionals and release complete updates at 11 and 5 on the hour and partial updates at 2 and 8 on the hour if needed. All times are Eastern Daylite time..I just pasted this from my blog......lol
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
193. Robin08
7:19 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Quoting kmanislander:
Good afternoon

As you may well imagine we are all watching Paloma very intently. The track due N has started early and the best outcome for us now is for a shift further East and a pass well below Grand Cayman.

The South coast is very prone to onshore flooding and a direct strike from a Cat2/3 from the South would cause tremendous damage. Even if it stayed due N all the way until it passed us we would get the stronger side of the system and the Eastern eyewall along the West coast. This would be equally destructive for the beach and the South coast.

The center fix shows the position to be near 81.8 so there is a small component of just E of due N already in the motion. How soon the turn to the NE comes will be critical for Grand Cayman as well as our sister islands.

I hope you guys don't get another storm its the last thing you need on such a beautiful island. Was there last year at this time on a cruise. Wonderful place would like to spend more time in the future
192. TampaSpin
7:18 PM GMT on November 06, 2008
Remember the National Hurricane Center are the Professionals and release complete updates at 11 and 5 on the hour and partial updates at 2 and 8 on the hour if needed. All times are Eastern Daylite time..
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.