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 afj3:
Any chance of a watch affecting Miami-Dade county? Unlikely, right?


Right
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545

URNT12 KNHC 132100 CCA

VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL182010

A. 13/20:40:20Z

B. 21 deg 41 min N

085 deg 44 min W

C. 700 mb 3037 m

D. 63 kt

E. 093 deg 0 nm

F. 206 deg 74 kt

G. 107 deg 12 nm

H. EXTRAP 994 mb

I. 8 C / 3055 m

J. 14 C / 3048 m

K. 10 C / NA

L. OPEN S

M. C12

N. 12345 / 07

O. 0.02 / 1 nm

P. AF303 0518A PAULA OB 22 CCA

MAX FL WIND 79 KT NE QUAD 19:03:40Z

SLP EXTRAP FROM 700 MB

MAX FL TEMP 17 C 104 / 8 NM FROM FL CNTR

;
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Latest vortex shows Maximum Surface Wind: 63kts (~ 72.5mph) and pressure up to 994mb. Paula is wobbling around out there.

""

Member Since: May 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 908
Here is a radar image from L Randy B's blog showing the square eye Jeff Masters mentioned yesterday....

having problem linking....


http://www.wunderground.com/wximage/viewsingleimage.html?mode=singleimage&handle=LRandyB&number=212


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Quoting Neapolitan:
As of the 5:00PM TWO:

--Paula's ACE is already at 4.9075, making her the 7th most energetic storm of the 2010 season. If she doesn't completely dissipate tonight or tomorrow, she may be able to catch 6th-place Karl, and even catching 5th-place Alex isn't completely out of the question. Current rundown for the season:

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
14: Bonnie - 0.3675
15: Gaston - 0.3675
16: Nicole - 0.1225

--ACE for the season is now above 140. For the record, it was 83 days from the beginning of the season until ACE hit 10. 20 came four days later, 30 the day after that, then 40, 50, and 60 were each reached at two-day intervals. It was seven more days before 70 was reached, two days until 80, then 90, 100, 110, and 120 were each reached at one-day intervals. Getting to 130 took seven days...and now it's taken 18 days to reach 140.

--Yesterday was the first date since September 19--when both Igor and Julia were still active--that single-day ACE exceeded two. (Today is already over 2, as well.)

And now you know...


Good info. Has there ever been a busier year WITHOUT a U.S. landfalling hurricane? I'd doubt it...
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Paula has to rebound quickly to survive.

Much more weakening and she is toast.

Think she might be trying to hold on.

Eyewall closed up again:



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iam now forecasting that schools will be open tomorrow and friday in south fla so no days off for ya all

lol
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hey guys I was just at the met office and us guys think that paula will loop around back into the caribbean come off of cuba and move between the ilse of pines or whatever it's name is and it to be weak by then but I think it will be a little stronger than what my other comrade thinks
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Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 13th day of the month at 21:00Z
Corrected: This observation corrected a previous observation.
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 303)
Storm Number & Year: 18L in 2010
Storm Name: Paula (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 5
Observation Number: 22
A. Time of Center Fix: 13th day of the month at 20:40:20Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 21°41'N 85°44'W (21.6833N 85.7333W)
B. Center Fix Location: 80 miles (129 km) to the ENE (62°) from Cancún, Quintana Roo, México.
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: 3,037m (9,964ft) at 700mb
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 63kts (~ 72.5mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 0 nautical miles (0 statute miles) to the E (93°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 206° at 74kts (From the SSW at ~ 85.2mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 12 nautical miles (14 statute miles) to the ESE (107°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 994mb (29.35 inHg) - Extrapolated
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 8°C (46°F) at a pressure alt. of 3,055m (10,023ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 14°C (57°F) at a pressure alt. of 3,048m (10,000ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 10°C (50°F)
K. Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Open in the south
M. Eye Shape & Diameter: Circular with a diameter of 12 nautical miles (14 statute miles)
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Radar, Wind, Pressure and Temperature
N. Fix Levels (sfc and flt lvl centers are within 5nm of each other): Surface and 700mb
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 1 nautical mile
Remarks Section:
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 79kts (~ 90.9mph) in the northeast quadrant at 19:03:40Z
Sea Level Pressure Extrapolation From: 700mb
Maximum Flight Level Temp: 17°C (63°F) which was observed 8 nautical miles to the ESE (104°) from the flight level center
Member Since: May 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 908
show me one ob of 85mph winds,nhc slipping imo,theirs a recon in their and their basing the wind speed on sat est???,not going to be suprised at all when the 11pm comes out and its a 60mph TS....
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Quoting robert88:
This just came in..SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind:66 knots (~ 75.9 mph) It wasn't suspect


Neither was this:

68 knots
(~ 78.2 mph)

Also, the assumption is that they are missing the area with highest winds, which is a statistically smart assumption, so they'll generally go a little higher.
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Quoting TropicalMan2010:

western cuba is flat though and it isnt over western cuba


looks pretty hilly on this map

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As of the 5:00PM TWO:

--Paula's ACE is already at 4.9075, making her the 7th most energetic storm of the 2010 season. If she doesn't completely dissipate tonight or tomorrow, she may be able to catch 6th-place Karl, and even catching 5th-place Alex isn't completely out of the question. Current rundown for the season:

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
14: Bonnie - 0.3675
15: Gaston - 0.3675
16: Nicole - 0.1225

--ACE for the season is now above 140. For the record, it was 83 days from the beginning of the season until ACE hit 10. 20 came four days later, 30 the day after that, then 40, 50, and 60 were each reached at two-day intervals. It was seven more days before 70 was reached, two days until 80, then 90, 100, 110, and 120 were each reached at one-day intervals. Getting to 130 took seven days...and now it's taken 18 days to reach 140.

--Yesterday was the first date since September 19--when both Igor and Julia were still active--that single-day ACE exceeded two. (Today is already over 2, as well.)

And now you know...
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Excellent link...
Quoting TNEWL:
To answer your question Sunliper, feeding the eastern side of the upcoming nor'easter, will be a very strong tap of warm and moist air into the 980mb low via the gulf stream. If things time our right ( depends on how fast Paula and Nor'easter move ) some of the flow could be diverted northward into the nor'easter. For more visit Stormtopia.com

Thanks for reading
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Agreed, the shear is ripping it apart. If it doesn't veer soon, there will be nothing left to veer.
even when it does veer east the high terrain of west cuba will finish anyway its done we have seen its best waitin to see its demise
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Been lurking mostly today...umm, teddy, how do you watch something "defiantly"? I had to ask...been bothering me for a while
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This just came in..SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind:66 knots (~ 75.9 mph) It wasn't suspect
Member Since: May 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 908
What is up with the NOGAPS model with Paula? Talk about rougue!
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Looks like NHC getting it right about the track Cuba gonna see some moderate raind and wind South Florida off the hook.
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It 'might' take on tropical characteristics.
GFS


CMC


Defiantly something to watch.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
CAT 1 AND WEAKENING


Agreed, the shear is ripping it apart. If it doesn't veer soon, there will be nothing left to veer.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
The vortex message has winds at 77mph. The initial intensity at 5pm EDT should be 75mph.


Surprised they held it at 85mph. No surface winds support that. I would of went with 75mph as well. The vortex message only supported the 77mph. All the other readings in the 70's are showing up suspect.
Member Since: May 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 908
Quoting scott39:
NHC 85mph moving NNEShe sure is hanging in there! What is the shear forcast for the next 24 hours in the direction Paula is heading?
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Quoting TropicalMan2010:
we will get 2 more to me its not pushing it...we may have a subtropical system way out there cyber mention earlier


There's the possibility, its hinted by the models.

Its this little guy to be exact, appears to still be attached to a frontal boundary but some models.
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CAT 1 AND WEAKENING
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Quoting doubtit:
.


Sometimes its wise to not say anything... and just let people think your a fool.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
117. afj3
Any chance of a watch affecting Miami-Dade county? Unlikely, right?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
000
WTNT43 KNHC 132042
TCDAT3
HURRICANE PAULA DISCUSSION NUMBER 10
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL182010
400 PM CDT WED OCT 13 2010

A HURRICANE IS CROSSING BETWEEN THE WESTERN TIP OF CUBA AND EASTERN
YUCATAN...BUT WITHOUT MODERN TECHNOLOGY NO ONE WOULD KNOW IT WAS
THERE.

HAVING SAID THAT...SATELLITE IMAGERY AND RECONNAISSANCE DATA SHOW
THAT PAULA HAS BEGUN TO WEAKEN. THE SHEAR DISRUPTED THE CLOUD
PATTERN AND THE MID- AND LOW-LEVEL CENTERS ARE BECOMING GRADUALLY
DETACHED. HOWEVER...THE HURRICANE STILL HAS A WELL-DEFINED CENTRAL
DENSE OVERCAST WITH STRONG CONVECTIVE BANDS TO THE EAST OF THE
CENTER...AND A SMALL 8 N MI EYE AS REPORTED BY THE AIRCRAFT.
DVORAK T-NUMBERS AND AIRCRAFT DATA STILL SUPPORT AN INITIAL
INTENSITY OF 75 KNOTS...BUT GIVEN THE EXPECTED STRONG SHEAR...AND
THE EFFECT OF THE HIGH TERRAIN OF CUBA...WEAKENING IS ANTICIPATED.
PAULA IS FORECAST TO BECOME A REMNANT LOW OVER CUBA IN ABOUT THREE
DAYS...POSSIBLY SOONER.

PAULA MOVED LITTLE DURING THE PAST FEW HOURS...BUT NOW IT APPEARS TO
BE MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHEAST OR 025 DEGREES AT 4 KNOTS.
THE HURRICANE ALREADY RECURVED AND IS EMBEDDED WITHIN THE
MID-LATITUDE WESTERLIES. THIS PATTERN IS FORECAST TO STEER PAULA ON
A GENERAL EASTWARD TRACK NEAR THE NORTH COAST OF CUBA UNTIL
DISSIPATION. THERE IS CONFIDENCE IN THE TRACK FORECAST FOR THE NEXT
12 TO 24 HOURS. THEREAFTER...THE FORECAST BECOMES HIGHLY UNCERTAIN
SINCE THE SPREAD IN THE GUIDANCE IS LARGE. IN GENERAL...MODELS
MAINTAIN THE MID-LEVEL CENTER MOVING EASTWARD AND KEEP A WEAK
REMNANT LOW MEANDERING NEAR CUBA. BY THEN...PAULA IS NOT EXPECTED
TO BE A TROPICAL CYCLONE.


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 13/2100Z 21.7N 85.6W 75 KT
12HR VT 14/0600Z 22.1N 85.2W 65 KT
24HR VT 14/1800Z 22.7N 84.0W 55 KT
36HR VT 15/0600Z 23.0N 82.5W 45 KT
48HR VT 15/1800Z 23.0N 81.0W 35 KT...INLAND
72HR VT 16/1800Z 22.5N 79.0W 25 KT...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
96HR VT 17/1800Z...DISSIPATED

$$
FORECASTER AVILA
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NHC 85mph moving NNE
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85 MPH FOR HURRICANE PAULA


000
WTNT33 KNHC 132041
TCPAT3
BULLETIN
HURRICANE PAULA ADVISORY NUMBER 10
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL182010
400 PM CDT WED OCT 13 2010

...PAULA BEGINS TO WEAKEN...WEATHER DETERIORATING OVER WESTERN
CUBA...

SUMMARY OF 400 PM CDT...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...21.7N 85.6W
ABOUT 45 MI...70 KM W OF THE WESTERN TIP OF CUBA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...85 MPH...140 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNE OR 25 DEGREES AT 5 MPH...7 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...992 MB...29.29 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

THE GOVERNMENT OF CUBA HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WARNING FOR THE
PROVINCES OF LA HABANA AND CUIDAD DE LA HABANA.

THE GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO HAS DISCONTINUED ALL WARNINGS FOR THE
YUCATAN PENINSULA.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...
TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS COULD STILL AFFECT A SMALL PORTION
OF NORTHEAST YUCATAN WITHIN THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING AREA DURING
THE NEXT FEW HOURS BUT GRADUALLY DIMINISH LATER TODAY.
A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* THE CUBAN PROVINCE OF PINAR DEL RIO

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* THE CUBAN PROVINCES OF LA HABANA AND CUIDAD DE LA HABANA

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...-
* THE FLORIDA KEYS FROM CRAIG KEY WESTWARD...INCLUDING THE DRY
TORTUGAS

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 48 HOURS.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA IN THE UNITED
STATES...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO
YOUR AREA OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS
ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 400 PM CDT...2100 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE PAULA WAS LOCATED
NEAR LATITUDE 21.7 NORTH...LONGITUDE 85.6 WEST. PAULA IS MOVING
TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHEAST NEAR 5 MPH...7 KM/HR...AND A TURN TO THE
NORTHEAST AND EAST IS EXPECTED ON THURSDAY. ON THIS TRACK...PAULA
WILL BE PASSING VERY NEAR OR OVER WESTERN CUBA BY TONIGHT OR EARLY
THURSDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE DECREASED TO NEAR 85 MPH...140
KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. PAULA IS A CATEGORY ONE HURRICANE ON
THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE. A GRADUAL WEAKENING IS
EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT DAY OR TWO.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 10 MILES...20 KM...FROM
THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 60
MILES...95 KM.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE FROM A RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT
WAS 992 MB...29.29 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
WIND...TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO REACH EXTREME
WESTERN CUBA LATER TONIGHT...WITH HURRICANE CONDITIONS FORECAST BY
EARLY THURSDAY. WINDS SHOULD BEGIN TO INCREASE OVER THE LOWER AND
MIDDLE FLORIDA KEYS LATE THURSDAY.

RAINFALL...PAULA IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAIN ACCUMULATIONS
OF 3 TO 6 INCHES...WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 10 INCHES
POSSIBLE...OVER PORTIONS OF WESTERN AND CENTRAL CUBA. IN AREAS OF
MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN...THESE RAINFALL AMOUNTS COULD CAUSE
LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUDSLIDES.

STORM SURGE...A STORM SURGE WILL RAISE WATER LEVELS BY AS MUCH AS
4 TO 6 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS ALONG THE IMMEDIATE COAST IN
AREAS OF ONSHORE FLOW OVER EXTREME WESTERN CUBA. THE SURGE WILL
BE ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE AND DESTRUCTIVE WAVES.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY...700 PM CDT.
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...1000 PM CDT.

$$
FORECASTER AVILA/BERG
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Heh.
000
WTNT43 KNHC 132042
TCDAT3
HURRICANE PAULA DISCUSSION NUMBER 10
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL182010
400 PM CDT WED OCT 13 2010

A HURRICANE IS CROSSING BETWEEN THE WESTERN TIP OF CUBA AND EASTERN
YUCATAN...BUT WITHOUT MODERN TECHNOLOGY NO ONE WOULD KNOW IT WAS
THERE.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting robert88:
Winds that are in the 70's are showing up suspect. Most surface winds are 50-60mph.
The vortex message has winds at 77mph. The initial intensity at 5pm EDT should be 75mph.
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Winds that are in the 70's are showing up suspect. Most surface winds are 50-60mph.
Member Since: May 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 908

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