Paula weakens, heads towards Cuba

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:42 PM GMT on October 13, 2010

Share this Blog
3
+

Data from an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicates that Hurricane Paula has weakened substantially, and may now be a Category 1 hurricane. The aircraft has made three penetrations of the eye as of 3:30pm EDT, and found top surface winds of 80 mph with their SFMR instrument. Top winds seen at flight level of 10,000 feet were 92 mph, which translates to 83 mph surface winds, using the 10% reduction rule of thumb. Based on these data, it is reasonable to assume Paula is now a Category 1 hurricane with 85 - 90 mph winds, since the aircraft may not have sampled where the peak winds were occurring. Paula is in the Yucatan Channel, the narrow gap between Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and the western tip of Cuba, and has now turned and is headed northeast towards Cuba. A rain band with heavy rains lies over the western tip of Cuba, and Cabo San Antonio on the western tip of Cuba picked up 2.80" of rain so far today from Paula. However, the winds have remained below 15 mph.


Figure 1. Radar image from the Pinar del Rio radar in Cuba at 3:15pm EDT on October 13, 2010, showing the eye of Paula near the western tip of Cuba. A strong spiral band was affecting western Cuba at this time. Image credit: Cuban Institute of Meteorology.

High wind shear due to strong upper-level winds out of the south are starting to tear up the southern portion of Paula, and satellite imagery shows the storm now has a lopsided appearance due to the shear. Low level spiral banding is no longer as impressive, and lines of low-level arc-shaped clouds are racing away from the southern portion of Paula, indicating that the hurricane has ingested dry air that has created strong thunderstorm downdrafts. Ingestion of this dry air is partially responsible for Paula's recent weakening. Water vapor satellite loops confirm the presence of a large amount of dry air on the south, west, and north sides of Paula.

Forecast for Paula
A small storm like Paula may weaken very quickly under the current 30 knots of wind shear and the dry air surrounding it. However, the latest 3pm EDT eye report from the Hurricane Hunters indicated that Paula's eyewall still remained solid, so Paula may be able to hang on for a few more hours before the shear drives dry air into the inner core and destroys the eyewall. Once that occurs, Paula should weaken more rapidly. I'd be surprised if Paula was still a hurricane on Thursday morning, even if it does not hit Cuba. Hurricane force winds extend out just fifteen miles from Paula's center, so only a very small region of coast will receive Paula's strongest winds if landfall occurs. The 11am EDT wind probability product from NHC gives Cabo San Antonio on the western tip of Cuba the highest odds of receiving hurricane force winds of any land area--a 35% chance. Key West is given a 4% chance, and Havana, Cuba, an 8% chance. These probabilities are slightly higher than they were in the 5am advisory, reflecting Paula's ability to hang tough in the face of 30 knots of wind shear. It currently appears that heavy rain will be the major threat from Paula. If Paula stalls over or near western Cuba for several days, the hurricane could easily dump more than ten inches over mountainous regions of the island.

The latest SHIPS model forecast calls for wind shear to rise to a very high 35 - 40 knots on Thursday afternoon, and remain above 25 knots for the rest of the week. This high shear, combined with the expected landfall of the center over mountainous Cuba, should be enough to destroy Paula by Sunday.

The latest set of model runs from 8am EDT (12Z) are very similar to the previous sets of runs. There are two basic solutions. One solution, championed by the GFDL and GFS ensemble mean, takes Paula just south of the Florida Keys on Friday morning, then into the Bahamas Friday afternoon. The other solution, offered by the rest of the models, is for Paula to move very slowly over western Cuba the next few days, then circle southeastwards into the Caribbean, as a strong high pressure system over the Gulf of Mexico intensifies and pushes Paula to the south. This is the more likely scenario, given the current trends in how the models are depicting evolution of the jet stream pattern over the U.S. in the coming days. However, residents of South Florida, the Keys, and the Bahamas should be anticipate the possibility of Paula coming their way as a weak tropical storm on Friday.

Elsewhere in the tropics
The NOGAPS model is predicting the formation of Tropical Storm Richard 5 - 6 days from now, in the southern Caribbean off the coast of Nicaragua, near where Paula formed. The GFS has just a strong tropical disturbance forming there.

In the Western Pacific, Tropical Storm Megi has formed, and is predicted to be a major typhoon that will threaten the northern Philippine Island of Luzon early next week.

Next update
I'll have an update Thursday morning.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 358 - 308

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17Blog Index

There was a blogger from Gitmo for about 18 months, haven't seen him on this past year.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
THE MINER IS OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All 33 miners have been RESCUED
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
A wider look:



Nice, but all I see is more of the Atlantic.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23673
Quoting CybrTeddy:


I thought ASCAT was in GEO, given that ascending and descending node passes were 24 hours apart.


I'm no expert, but can't be with the swaths ascending and descending.

That implies that the sat is orbiting pole to pole, no?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like she's on a slow drift to the ENE for the last few hours:

RADAR LINK
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
A wider look:

Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10576
Quoting Seastep:
Is that what I think it is?



No, just a high, cold cloud top
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23673
Quoting BDAwx:

Of course they do!
That's just like people asking us Bermudians if we get lost in the triangle, if we live in grass huts on the beach, or if we speak Spanish!


Don't feel too badly. When I tell people I lived in Norway, I can't tell you how many people have asked where that was or if it was in Europe.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23673
Is that what I think it is?

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:
It's pretty interesting to watch what the models have to say on Paula. Most aren't initializing her strong enough which argues for a path farther north following the deep-layer flow, yet she is small enough that she could still potentially be forced south. I'm still holding out for a more northerly path without getting stuck in the Caribbean, but we shall see if she really turns right into Cuba.



She is interesting, isn't she. Not set in stone just yet, imo.

She has to get moving, though, or that shear will kill her.

IF she were to go N of Cuba, the shear has improved a tad there. 30kt line moved quite a bit N. Conditions would improve a tad if she got N of Cuba and moving ENE.

18Z



21Z

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
348. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #7
TROPICAL STORM MEGI (T1013)
9:00 AM JST October 14 2010
=================================

SUBJECT: Category One Typhoon Near The Marianas

At 0:00 AM UTC, Tropical Storm Megi (1002 hPa) located at 11.9N 140.6E has 10 minute sustained winds of 35 knots with gusts of 50 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west northwest slowly

Dvorak Intensity: T2.0

Gale Force Winds
=================
120 NM from the center

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
24 HRS: 13.2N 138.5E - 50 knots (CAT 2/Severe Tropical Storm)
48 HRS: 15.2N 135.0E - 65 knots (CAT 3/Typhoon)
72 HRS: 16.9N 130.4E - 75 knots (CAT 3/Typhoon)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


You should post more images and see if we can guess.


As long is it isn't Brett Farve lol!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AstroHurricane001:
Guess what storm this is, look familiar?



No, it's not a weakening Paula. This was one of the stages of the extratropical remnant convection of TS Agatha back in June 2010.


You should post more images and see if we can guess.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23673
Quoting Levi32:
Radar shows Paula making a wobble to the east. Could she turn into Cuba after all? We shall see.



Been thinking all day she could to that, Levi!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:
Ummm, in actuality, it has been shown that the number of named short-lived, borderline tropical storms has increased substantially in the last 20 years.

Chris Landsea even interviewed former NHC directors and showed them conditions from real named storms of late and asked them what the status should be. The "most former", predictably, said TD, not worthy of TS status, and most agreed (up to the most recent directors)...for an actual, named TS from recent times (I don't remember which).


Can't help using a medical analogy. Perhaps the ability to "diagnose" them has also improved in that time. Maybe Forecaster Avila alluded to this today in his 2pm Paula discussion.

I see someone already made a similar point.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2139: It's an eerie scene down below now. Just one miner left to come up, the shift leader and master motivator Luis Urzua.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10576
Quoting Seastep:


Yes, and I wonder why they don't put scat on geo-stationary sats like GOES.

Is there a technical reason for that?


I thought ASCAT was in GEO, given that ascending and descending node passes were 24 hours apart.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
340. 7544
bamd shifted north again
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:
Ummm, in actuality, it has been shown that the number of named short-lived, borderline tropical storms has increased substantially in the last 20 years.

Chris Landsea even interviewed former NHC directors and showed them conditions from real named storms of late and asked them what the status should be. The "most former", predictably, said TD, not worthy of TS status, and most agreed (up to the most recent directors)...for an actual, named TS from recent times (I don't remember which).


Well, in the last 20 years technology and predictability have increased exponentially. They are able to catch things that werent possible before, so of course more decisions will have to be made about the present and potential stature for all the new interests.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
338. BDAwx
Quoting BDAwx:

Of course they do!
That's just like people asking us Bermudians if we get lost in the triangle, if we live in grass huts on the beach, or if we speak Spanish!

Sorry if that came out a little abrasive... :D

btw. people ask us if we speak Spanish because Bermuda was discovered by the Spanish... and people forget that we are a British colony.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
337. 7544
paula refire ?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting miamiheat:
Stupid question ...but you guys are used to them from me ...do we have any bloggers here from Cuba? Are they even allowed to blog? Would be interesting to hear from someone there with this storm.

internet is controled by Castro's ,only few people have access to that ,the use of internet by the people is again the law ,only Castro's agencies can use it .


Well, if you can make an international phone call, it would be very easy.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 7544:
the return of richard lol Link


Looks like a weak TS can be affecting South FL in a week or two. ayyy...(thumbs up)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:




nop see my blog it needs a turn


Taz keeps track for us.

Every single invest on this run has become a tropical cyclone.

90L Hermine, 91L Igor, 92L Karl, 93L Julia, 94L Lisa, 95L Matthew, 96L Nicole, 97L Otto, 98L Paula.

I don't recall many occasions where EVERY invest became a system on a run.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It's pretty interesting to watch what the models have to say on Paula. Most aren't initializing her strong enough which argues for a path farther north following the deep-layer flow, yet she is small enough that she could still potentially be forced south. I'm still holding out for a more northerly path without getting stuck in the Caribbean, but we shall see if she really turns right into Cuba.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good night. Off topic but they are preparing to bring up the final miner and then only the six rescuers to be brought up.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
Stupid question ...but you guys are used to them from me ...do we have any bloggers here from Cuba? Are they even allowed to blog? Would be interesting to hear from someone there with this storm.

internet is controled by Castro's ,only few people have access to that ,the use of internet by the people is again the law ,only Castro's agencies can use it .
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Microwave, too.

Must be technical.

How awesome would it be to have floater ability on scat and MW?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
yeah a new scat would be nice too miss it this season and maybe next season as well


Yes, and I wonder why they don't put scat on geo-stationary sats like GOES.

Is there a technical reason for that?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting txjac:
Stupid question ...but you guys are used to them from me ...do we have any bloggers here from Cuba? Are they even allowed to blog? Would be interesting to hear from someone there with this storm


IIRC, there was a Cuban blogger on before. Thinking during Ike, but very low confidence in that recollection.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:


OMG! You're right! You've cracked the case!

Not.

If the lying, cheating, stat-manipulating no-goodniks at the NHC have named borderline--or even nonexistent--storms this year, it stands to reason they've done it every year, right? If so, that would lower the overall averages, meaning that 2010 is still a standout.

Seriously, can we please stick to scientific fact, and not unfounded allegations of conspiracy theories leveled at professional meteorologists?
Ummm, in actuality, it has been shown that the number of named short-lived, borderline tropical storms has increased substantially in the last 20 years.

Chris Landsea even interviewed former NHC directors and showed them conditions from real named storms of late and asked them what the status should be. The "most former", predictably, said TD, not worthy of TS status, and most agreed (up to the most recent directors)...for an actual, named TS from recent times (I don't remember which).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
324. 7544
the return of richard lol Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Radar shows Paula making a wobble to the east. Could she turn into Cuba after all? We shall see.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
321. JLPR2
Quoting BDAwx:

Of course they do!
That's just like people asking us Bermudians if we get lost in the triangle, if we live in grass huts on the beach, or if we speak Spanish!


Why would you guys speak Spanish? I didn't get it. People actually ask that? XD
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
320. JLPR2
Quoting txjac:
Stupid question ...but you guys are used to them from me ...do we have any bloggers here from Cuba? Are they even allowed to blog? Would be interesting to hear from someone there with this storm


I remember speaking with one a long time ago but I haven't seen her around as of late.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Has an invest tagged 99L ever developed into a storm this season?




nop see my blog it needs a turn
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
318. BDAwx
Quoting BDADUDE:
They have the internet in Cuba?

Of course they do!
That's just like people asking us Bermudians if we get lost in the triangle, if we live in grass huts on the beach, or if we speak Spanish!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting txjac:
Stupid question ...but you guys are used to them from me ...do we have any bloggers here from Cuba? Are they even allowed to blog? Would be interesting to hear from someone there with this storm
They have the internet in Cuba?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
316. txjac
Stupid question ...but you guys are used to them from me ...do we have any bloggers here from Cuba? Are they even allowed to blog? Would be interesting to hear from someone there with this storm
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hard to tell with such a short radar loop, but one wonders if Paula might have turned more sharply than expected and might actually be heading ESE at the moment.That might affect the prognosis, if true.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
302 IKE "I get sick of reading about NHC conspiracy's. I don't believe it either.

Hah! An Invest without a center is just a rainy blob. So it's pretty obvious that Invests hafta sneak into Miami to get their centers from the NationalHurricaneCenter. Then stealth back out to their starting positions as TropicalCyclones.
And guess who is hiding those comings&goings from HomelandSecurity?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CosmicEvents:
I can't think of another goverment agency that works as well, and efficiently as well. I'd even argue to throw more money their way. Add more planes and satellites as well.
yeah a new scat would be nice too miss it this season and maybe next season as well
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52100
Quoting CosmicEvents:
I can't think of another goverment agency that works as well, and efficiently as well. I'd even argue to throw more money their way. Add more planes and satellites as well.
I agree 100%.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Has an invest tagged 99L ever developed into a storm this season?
not yet but number 99 is next on the list
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52100
HurricanePaula's center position changed so little that any moving speed or heading derived from its last 2 coordinates is totally swamped by the possible rounding errors contained there within. Keeping that proviso in mind:
Category2
13Oct 12amGMT - - 19.6n86.0w - - 100mph(~160.9km/h) - - 981mb -- NHC.Adv.#6A
13Oct 03amGMT - - 19.9n86.0w - - 100mph(~160.9km/h) - - 981mb -- #7
13Oct 06amGMT - - 20.4n86.0w - - 100mph(~160.9km/h) - - 981mb -- NHC.Adv.#7A
13Oct 09amGMT - - 20.7n86.0w - - 100mph(~160.9km/h) - - 984mb -- NHC.Adv.#8
13Oct 12pmGMT - - 21.3n85.9w - - 100mph(~160.9km/h) - - 984mb -- NHC.Adv.#8A
13Oct 03pmGMT - - 21.3n85.8w - - 100mph(~160.9km/h) - - 984mb -- NHC.Adv.#9
13Oct 06pmGMT - - 21.5n85.7w - - 100mph(~160.9km/h) - - 989mb -- NHC.Adv.#9A
Category1
13Oct 09pmGMT - - 21.7n85.6w - - - 85mph(~136.8km/h) - - 992mb -- NHC.Adv.#10
14Oct 12amGMT - - 21.8n85.6w - - - 85mph(~136.8km/h) - - 992mb -- NHC.Adv.#10A

Copy &paste 19.6n86.0w, 19.9n86.0w, 20.4n86.0w, 20.7n86.0w, 21.3n85.9w-21.3n85.8w, 21.3n85.8w-21.5n85.7w, 21.5n85.7w-21.7n85.6w, 21.7n85.6w-21.8n85.6w, cun, hav into the GreatCircleMapper for a look at the last 12hours.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:


I get sick of reading about NHC conspiracy's. I don't believe it either. It is what it is. They do a job. Their not perfect but they do a good job.
I can't think of another goverment agency that works as well, and efficiently as well. I'd even argue to throw more money their way. Add more planes and satellites as well.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JLPR2:


Was that 91L the one in the north GOM or was that another invest?


91L was the left-overs of TS Agatha
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 358 - 308

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17Blog Index

Top of Page

About JeffMasters

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