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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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.
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Quoting hydrus:
If you look at post#200 closely, Otto is still spinning nicely E-SE of the Azores .


LMAO...
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Quoting Floodman:
Wow! I just broke 200 for the first time...All you can see on my "Ignore User" button is alittle bit of the "I" and the last "r"
If you look at post#200 closely, Otto is still spinning nicely E-SE of the Azores .
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A giant wad of dry air...you have a wonderful way with the laguage!
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Quoting Floodman:
Wow! I just broke 200 for the first time...All you can see on my "Ignore User" button is alittle bit of the "I" and the last "r"



Dude can you see any post at all....LOL! Just sayn
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
Quoting Floodman:


Somewhere in the area of Nicaraugua, from what I was seeing earlier today...pretty much where Paula spun up...
I see...There is a giant wad of dry air moving fast into that very area..Things can moisten up quick, and a lot of the models develop somethin...
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no not nasty just followed the blog for two days and I respect opinion and forecast but not the way he delivers it to the blog...
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Quoting Floodman:


You saw that too? Stick around...it gets worse


LOL.....you got that right....hey Flood you moved didn't you?
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
Wow! I just broke 200 for the first time...All you can see on my "Ignore User" button is alittle bit of the "I" and the last "r"
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Quoting newportrinative:


Always someone having to post a nasty comment about someone....sigh.
Must be nice when you hide behind a computer screen.


You saw that too? Stick around...it gets worse
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Quoting cat5hurricane:

Evening. Sorry about your Rays yesterday.


Good season.....but very disappointed. They did not play well last nite at all. The Crowd was awsome and wanted so much to cheer and scream but, never really got into it. Wife and I had fun and that is what it really is about anyone. Thanks!!!!

BT Paula, The Shear and very dry air is killing Paula just as i thought would happen. I was getting pretty hard attacked by the wishcasters yesterday, but i knew it was gonna happen......LOL.......its all good.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Re: 182

Is that necessary?


Always someone having to post a nasty comment about someone....sigh.
Must be nice when you hide behind a computer screen.
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Quoting hydrus:
The models want to spin up another low in the Western Caribbean Sea.....When I see this I wonder how and where...


Somewhere in the area of Nicaraugua, from what I was seeing earlier today...pretty much where Paula spun up...
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Re: 182

Is that necessary?
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Quoting NoNamePub:
Not yet Flood -
But Working on it.....
Need a good P&C Binding/brokerage Biz Producer if you are island bound


I've been doing Property for a long time; Casualty can't be THAT hard, huh?
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Evening everyone. Looks like Paula is about to go poof in the next 24hours.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
The models want to spin up another low in the Western Caribbean Sea.....When I see this I wonder how and where...
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Not yet Flood -
But Working on it.....
Need a good P&C Binding/brokerage Biz Producer if you are island bound
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Re: 172.


Ya got that right!
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Quoting CycloneUK:
Bad news for the Philippines:


Yikes! Good Afternoon guys.
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Quoting NoNamePub:

Dont call me toots!
HAhA


Mahalo, bro! How's the islands? Need any folks working for you yet? I'm on the next plane!
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Quoting Floodman:


Hiya, toots! How's things?

Dont call me toots!
HAhA
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Quoting NRAamy:
Jerry, Groth, Cosmic.... Afternoon boys....



Hiya, toots! How's things?
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Quoting Grothar:


Sehr gut! Been watching all the arguing. We have had regular thunderstorms bigger than Paula.


LOL...lots of new "faces", same old shite...LOL
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Quoting cat5hurricane:

Unlike earlier, she should be just about ready to get consumed with the mid-latitude westerly flow which in turn will pivot her eastward. I really feel this is imminent.

Her days of riding that subtropical ridge northward are pretty much gone.


It shouldn't be long now. Link
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Jerry, Groth, Cosmic.... Afternoon boys....

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Bad news for the Philippines:

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Quoting TropicalMan2010:

western cuba is flat though and it isnt over western cuba
Western Cuba is also loaded with huge expanses of dead forests. Because of all the hurricanes it has had over and over again for thousands of years...Link
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""
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
Dissipation is a beautiful word when it comes to cyclones.


Amen.
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Quoting aspectre:
Paula is still The Little Hurricane That Could
""I think I can. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can hit Tampa."

H.Paula's heading held*steady at (2.5degrees east of) NorthNorthEast
H.Paula's average speed moving between its last 2 reported positions remained ~5mph(~8km/h)
Category2
12Oct 09pmGMT - - 19.2n86.0w - - 100mph(~160.9km/h) - - 981mb -- NHC.Adv.#6
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 - - mph(~km/h) - - mb -- NHC.Adv.#10

Copy &paste 19.2n86.0w, 19.6n86.0w, 19.9n86.0w, 20.4n86.0w, 20.7n86.0w-21.3n85.9w, 21.3n85.9w-21.3n85.8w, 21.3n85.8w-21.5n85.7w, 21.5n85.7w-21.7n85.6w, cun, srq, pbi, 21.7n85.6w-27.43n82.6w into the GreatCircleMapper for a look at the last 12^hours.

Using straightline projection upon the speed&heading averaged
over the 3hours spanning the last two reported positions:
~3days15hours from now to the BayshoreGardens,Florida

* The 0.1degree difference easily fits within the rounding error.
^ The northernmost line-segment is the straightline projection.
can i have some of what you are smoking?
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
The 18z dynamic model plots have shifted towards the left and this shift will likely be reflected in the 5pm forecast cone. Notice the NHC plot (white plot) that was using the TVCN model for guidance in the 12z run. As you can tell, the TVCN no longer has the system turning towards the south and into the western Caribbean, but rather now has the system only skirting the northern Cuba coast and staying over water until dissipation.

18z ATCF model plots:

Dissipation is a beautiful word when it comes to cyclones.
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Quoting Floodman:


Gut...I now understand "watching defiantly"...the first Mrs. Floodman could have taught lessons...LOL

How are you doing?


Sehr gut! Been watching all the arguing. We have had regular thunderstorms bigger than Paula.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26546
Not quite understanding the 994 and 990 vortexes.

Yes, that was seen between 2 and 3pm, but at 4 and 4:30, they read 988 both passes.

They know what they are doing, though, but based on the raw recon data, she strengthened slightly in the past two hours or so.
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Paula is still The Little Hurricane That Could
""I think I can. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can hit Tampa."

HurricanePaula's heading held*steady at (2.5degrees east of) NorthNorthEast
H.Paula's average speed moving between its last 2 reported positions remained ~5mph(~8km/h)
Category2
12Oct 09pmGMT - - 19.2n86.0w - - 100mph(~160.9km/h) - - 981mb -- NHC.Adv.#6
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

Copy &paste 19.2n86.0w, 19.6n86.0w, 19.9n86.0w, 20.4n86.0w, 20.7n86.0w-21.3n85.9w, 21.3n85.9w-21.3n85.8w, 21.3n85.8w-21.5n85.7w, 21.5n85.7w-21.7n85.6w, cun, tpa, pbi, 21.7n85.6w-27.43n82.6w into the GreatCircleMapper for a look at the last 12^hours.

Using straightline projection upon the speed&heading averaged
over the 3hours spanning the last two reported positions:
~3days15hours from now to BayshoreGardens,Florida

* The 0.1degree difference easily fits within the rounding error.
^ The northernmost line-segment is the straightline projection.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Quoting Grothar:


Obviously you have never seen Mrs. Grothar watch me when I am on the blog. That would answer your question. Wie geht's?


Gut...I now understand "watching defiantly"...the first Mrs. Floodman could have taught lessons...LOL

How are you doing?
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Quoting Floodman:
Been lurking mostly today...umm, teddy, how do you watch something "defiantly"? I had to ask...been bothering me for a while


Obviously you have never seen Mrs. Grothar watch me when I am on the blog. That would answer your question. Wie geht's?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26546
Quoting afj3:
Any chance of a watch affecting Miami-Dade county? Unlikely, right?


Right
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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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