Paula weakens, heads towards Cuba

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

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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

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When is the next update? 11 PM?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting cat5hurricane:

Well if she does that (and ONLY if she does that), then I retract my previous concession. Never know...
Cat-5 I was not stomping on your onions, I was actually joking..:)
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Quoting Floodman:


Good, it wasn't just me...what's up, pottery?
Hey Flood..Did you read post#243.? he he...;)
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35kt. 1005mb Otto.

Can you imagine if Otto outlasts Paula? lol.

That would be something.

What's the record for longest storm?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Otto:

AL, 17, 2010101318, 359N, 223W, 35, 1005, EX
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11324
BBL.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24469
Quoting KerryInNOLA:

1: Igor - 42.4450
2: Earl-27.7750
3: Danielle - 21.7950
4: Julia - 14.1825
5: Alex - 6.7825
6: Karl - 5.8000
7: Paula - 4.9075
8: Otto - 4.6550
9: Lisa - 3.6175
10: Fiona - 2.9400
11: Colin - 1.9450
12: Matthew - 1.3750
13: Hermine - 1.2725
------------------------------
defrock: Bonnie - 0.00000
defrock: Gaston - 0.00000
defrock: Nicole - 0.00000

So as you can see when we remove the impostors, this season turns out to be slightly above average. It's all being done with smoke and mirrors to make us think that records are being broken. Quiet seasons don't generate excitement. It's like comparing baseball on steroids to presteroid years. Busy years are free advertisement for those who make their livings off of the hurricane spin business.


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?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting cat5hurricane:

She's toast
Ya know,,,There is the outside chance lil Paula will end up in the Caribbean again and re-organize. Only to be cannibalized by a much larger low pressure area forecasted to be in the Western Caribbean Sea in about 5 days....Link
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Quoting Floodman:


Good, it wasn't just me...what's up, pottery?

Everything's up, that should be.
And everything else is great as well.
Spent too long on a metal roof today, and feeling the results right now.
WHEW. It was a little warm... send liquids....
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24469
Humid and cloudy in Key Biscayne. Ok, we need some rain. Ready for Fall (lower humidity and no storms).
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Otto is back up on Navy! LOL.
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Quoting cat5hurricane:

What cracks me up is folks think their jobs are somehow in peril & are up against some competing enterprise or something. They are the authority. Period. They don't have to answer to anyone. They do their best to ensure safety of lives & do their job very well I think.


+ 1000
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting cat5hurricane:

What cracks me up is folks think their jobs are somehow in peril & are up against some competing enterprise or something. They are the authority. Period. They don't have to answer to anyone. They do their best to ensure safety of lives & do their job very well I think.


Well said.
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Quoting pottery:
Evenin' all.

That was borderline there, Daks. LOL.

A hot, hazy one here today.

Paula on the way out (as a Hurricane)
Models showing something in 5-7 days....

OK then!


Good, it wasn't just me...what's up, pottery?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
18L/TS/P/CX
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11324
Evenin' all.

That was borderline there, Daks. LOL.

A hot, hazy one here today.

Paula on the way out (as a Hurricane)
Models showing something in 5-7 days....

OK then!
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24469
Seems to me the whole conspiracy theory behind the NHC naming systems to make it seem like an active season is ridiculous. The National Hurricane Center gets payed to accurately predict storms, they do that. If they don't view something or view something as a tropical cyclone it probably isn't or is.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KerryInNOLA:

1: Igor - 42.4450
2: Earl-27.7750
3: Danielle - 21.7950
4: Julia - 14.1825
5: Alex - 6.7825
6: Karl - 5.8000
7: Paula - 4.9075
8: Otto - 4.6550
9: Lisa - 3.6175
10: Fiona - 2.9400
11: Colin - 1.9450
12: Matthew - 1.3750
13: Hermine - 1.2725
------------------------------
defrock: Bonnie - 0.00000
defrock: Gaston - 0.00000
defrock: Nicole - 0.00000

So as you can see when we remove the impostors, this season turns out to be slightly above average. It's all being done with smoke and mirrors to make us think that records are being broken. Quiet seasons don't generate excitement. It's like comparing baseball on steroids to presteroid years. Busy years are free advertisement for those who make their livings off of the hurricane spin business.


SHOOT, even with those 3 gone we're at 13 named storms.. with the good possibility of 2 more that's 15 right there. 2007 and 2004 are generally considered active seasons, both having 15 named storms. And if Gaston wasn't a TS I'll eat my hat, Gaston clearly met that definition for a day. Same with Bonnie. Nicole.. a little iffy, I would have called it sub-tropical.

We're at 16-9-5, ACE is at 140.3 and climbing. That's a hyperactive season. While Bonnie, Gaston, and Nicole weren't impressive, Alex, Danielle, Earl, Igor, Julia, Karl and even Paula were.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
AMY - got the fork handy... May need it for Paula (hopefully).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NRAamy:
Jerry, Groth, Cosmic.... Afternoon boys....



Amy.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26558
KERRY IN NOLA..RE.. Nicole,s A.C.E...0.1225...it is funny..lmao...
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Only if ya' thinking the wrong way...

We could all use more "work" at the moment. However, not at the expense of death and destruction.
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Quoting Dakster:
Good Flood...

Could use a wet blow at the moment..

It would cool things off a bit. Still hot and humid down here.

You?


LOL...you nearly went off the other side of the table with that one!

I'm good...could be busier, but other than that
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Paula weakening, but how about megi? wait... Oh! my country only got 4 or 5 days to prepare for megi or else billboards will fall again!
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Good Flood...

Could use a wet blow at the moment..

It would cool things off a bit. Still hot and humid down here.

You?
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So how've you been Dak?
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Complete Update



AOI
AOI AOI AOI

AOI AOI AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
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Quoting Dakster:
Hey FLOODMAN!!!

Hopefully Paula will miss CONUS...


DAK! Looks like you get your wish...rain and a little blow, that'll be the size of it
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Hey FLOODMAN!!!

Hopefully Paula will miss CONUS...
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Quoting hydrus:
I could not stop hearing in the 70,s...Almost everything that was quantified, weighed and measured could be labeled as a wad. A wad of gum, a wad of paper,...A WAD of ****.... ahhh.....you get it..:)


There were a few notable exceptions...LOL
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The Atlantic is a mess.....looks like the Central Atlantic season is near an end. Just Caribbean storms left of concern and yes a concern it will remain for some time yet.
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Quoting tropicfreak:


I know. If anyone aggravates you, then put them on ignore and report if necessary.


Quite frankly, I can't believe you're still amazed!
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Quoting Floodman:
A giant wad of dry air...you have a wonderful way with the laguage!
I could not stop hearing in the 70,s...Almost everything that was quantified, weighed and measured could be labeled as a wad. A wad of gum, a wad of paper,...A WAD of ****.... ahhh.....you get it..:)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting toddbizz:
How much rain for SFL anyone wanna take a guess

A 2 inches
B 4 inches
c 6-8 inches
d I heard you like that size


LOL @ D.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tropicfreak:


I know. If anyone aggravates you, then put them on ignore and report if necessary.


C'mon guys let's give Reed a break. He's pretty good just that sometimes he gets too pasionate about his forecasts but he's cool though
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting reedzone:
Have fun, i'm out, got work in a few. Amazing how rude people are in here.


I know. If anyone aggravates you, then put them on ignore and report if necessary.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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.

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