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: 508 - 458

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

Quoting Grothar:


You know someone is going to explain to you what an XTRP model is.


Can't believe you fell for it.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10578
Quoting Grothar:


If there is intelligent life out there, do you blame them for not contacting us? LOL


there watching
if there even there
which is highly likely
considing the size of the universe
and us beings thinking
we be the only ones
is likley not true
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52257
Quoting Grothar:


Sorry, Canes. Must have missed your post. With all this activity, I can't keep up with posts coming in every 15 minutes, too much for an old guy.


Haha, yeah, I guess so lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting caneswatch:


I'll just stop quoting you since you won't respond lol


He is rude like that. :)
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10578
Quoting oracle28:


is it just me, or is the XTRP pointing at NYC?

It is just you...
the rest of us cant even see the image anymore.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'm stretching your screen...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting oracle28:


is it just me, or is the XTRP pointing at NYC?


You know someone is going to explain to you what an XTRP model is.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Quoting Grothar:


If there is intelligent life out there, do you blame them for not contacting us? LOL
Not for a minute (I wouldn't) --Presently,I'm not very proud of us - - I have hope mind you.....LOL --but, present status -- 3 year olds with dangerous toys * sigh*
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
500. IKE
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting caneswatch:


I'll just stop quoting you since you won't respond lol


Sorry, Canes. Must have missed your post. With all this activity, I can't keep up with posts coming in every 15 minutes, too much for an old guy.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Quoting sammywammybamy:
Models Must Have Ingested Something...



is it just me, or is the XTRP pointing at NYC?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting oracle28:


Dust-caster!


Hey, don't get my feathers up!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Quoting Grothar:


If you all notice, I went back and had corrected Gorgon to Zorgon. It is not easy typing at my age. :P


I'll just stop quoting you since you won't respond lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting kmanislander:
Anyway I'm out now. I hope I don't wake up to see Paula doing the loop de loop into the Caribbean LOL

Have a great evening everyone.
Good night Kman.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
brrrrrr - easy on the coolent wishes Kman -- El Norte breaths down my neck first and I'm not fond of his cold breath. Not one bit - every year I swear I'm heading for a warmer latitude ...one day : )
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:
Image of dust storm on Mars. They tracked it for months. Can you imagine those poor bloggers up there. Wonder if they insult each other as much as we do.



Dust-caster!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
CPC has neutral/weal El Niño over the Niño 3.4 region through the beginning and peak of the season. The latter part of the season is just too far out, but it does appear that conditions would be near neutral.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
Quoting Neapolitan:


Well, only RoC government workers and scientists are allowed to have their own internet accounts, and these are provided by the state, meaning they have limited access to sites outside of Cuba. Regular citizens are allowed to open personal email accounts, but they're not supposed to have web access, so they are supposed to use public email-only terminals at post offices, etc. Lots of tourist hotels, though, have outside internet access, and a lot of Cuban residents use those hotels to access the web in contravention of the law.

Just thought you might want to know...


Technically speaking, it's "the internets".
Just thought you might want to know.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting surfmom:
Oh Lordy --LOL don't say that ..I was counting on them to SAVE US - bawahahaaa


If there is intelligent life out there, do you blame them for not contacting us? LOL
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Anyway I'm out now. I hope I don't wake up to see Paula doing the loop de loop into the Caribbean LOL

Have a great evening everyone.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:
Image of dust storm on Mars. They tracked it for months. Can you imagine those poor bloggers up there. Wonder if they insult each other as much as we do.


No wonder they dont have Hurricanes there, with all that dust and stuff...
Must be hell on the AC units.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:
2nd peak is about now...drop off soon...real soon...heart and soul of this season is about over...

a small little jab between the 6th and 9th of nov still a chance but much smaller
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52257
Quoting LoveThemCanes:

Not only are they limited in what they can access but they have limited time too...My family over there is allowed approximately 30 minutes a month to email..needless to say we have real quick conversations.

very sobering, just - (((30 minutes)))
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
LOL, sorry.


J/K

Can't wait for the Christmas winds to blow down with the fronts. Already the temps are in the mid 80s from the highs of mid 90s here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:
Image of dust storm on Mars. They tracked it for months. Can you imagine those poor bloggers up there. Wonder if they insult each other as much as we do.

Oh Lordy --LOL don't say that ..I was counting on them to SAVE US - bawahahaaa
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting surfmom:
Ahhhhh thank YOU!! cause the last two times --- I was really very happy : ) you know how to toss dem rocks : )

Yer going to get me in trouble with comments like that one....
heheheh
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
The Gorgon was a good flick back in the day.


If you all notice, I went back and had corrected Gorgon to Zorgon. It is not easy typing at my age. :P
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Quoting kmanislander:


Just as I was starting to relax you had to go and post that LOL
LOL, sorry.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
everything comes to a end and this seasons end is coming watch how quiet it gets then
no complaints Amigo
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting kmanislander:


Indeed. From El Nino to La Nina.

Neutral next year ??
yeah:(
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52257
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
The ECMWF seasonal forecast for the Niño 3.4 region doesn't exceed March 15th, but it does appear that the season will at least be neutral turning into a weak El Niño/La Niña (give or take) for the heart of the season.




Just as I was starting to relax you had to go and post that LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Image of dust storm on Mars. They tracked it for months. Can you imagine those poor bloggers up there. Wonder if they insult each other as much as we do.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Quoting pottery:

So, no waves??
Not good.
Going to have to see what I can rustle-up for you.
Ahhhhh thank YOU!! cause the last two times --- I was really very happy : ) you know how to toss dem rocks : )
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
all have been open sea presentations with only a few land interactions soon 2010 reviews start or maybe already


Strong La Nina. So lucky this year for that.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting kmanislander:


Indeed. From El Nino to La Nina.

Neutral next year ??
The ECMWF seasonal forecast for the Niño 3.4 region doesn't exceed March 15th, but it does appear that the season will at least be neutral turning into a weak El Niño/La Niña (give or take) for the heart of the season.


Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
Gorgon [ˈgɔːgən]
n
1. (Myth & Legend / Classical Myth & Legend) Greek myth any of three winged monstrous sisters, Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa, who had live snakes for hair, huge teeth, and brazen claws
2. (often not capital) Informal a fierce or unpleasant woman
[via Latin Gorgō from Greek, from gorgos terrible]
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting surfmom:
Gasp!! I had no clue...... that strict????

Not only are they limited in what they can access but they have limited time too...My family over there is allowed approximately 30 minutes a month to email..needless to say we have real quick conversations.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
470. IKE
2nd peak is about now...drop off soon...real soon...heart and soul of this season is about over...

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
I have been watching Ms Paula,
Every time I think it may go see Baha
or loop to visit Kman,
the tracks seem to pass my neighborhood
every so often...

wait and see again,
but I am hoping the end of the season
soon come.
everything comes to a end and this seasons end is coming watch how quiet it gets then
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52257
Quoting surfmom:
449 - thanks Kman -- I enjoyed your understandable synopsis - right to the point & I get it! LOL


Lady luck smiled this year. Let's hope it ends that way.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


That is what we are here for.

Apparently!
nuts....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The Gorgon was a good flick back in the day.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10578
Quoting kmanislander:


Two factors were of significance in blunting the impact of the season.

1. The late start due to the excessive continental heat that resulted in subsidence in the Atlantic and several systems that could not get going as a result of the dry air and shear.

2. The very strong La Nina which tends to produce a lot of recurving storms.

Neutral years are the real danger for the Caribbean and the SE US.

Who knows what next year will bring.

Hope next year is not a year for landings....
anywhere.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Paula has slowed in forward motion and it appears to have begun a turn towards the east-northeast.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
Quoting F4PHANTOM:
Pattern changes


Indeed. From El Nino to La Nina.

Neutral next year ??
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:
Anyone know what time the 11:00PM advisory comes out?


at approximately 12:27:03 Mars local solar time, camera commanded to use Filter 2 (753 nm). NASA/JPL/Cornell
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
449 - thanks Kman -- I enjoyed your understandable synopsis - right to the point & I get it! LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting surfmom:
Neptune didn't seem to stir Paula ... & so doesn't look like much swell if any for SWFL surfers

though, I am grateful Paula didn't cause harm to any of our island & coastal friends

So, no waves??
Not good.
Going to have to see what I can rustle-up for you.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:

BAH!!
You all sure know how to stop a guy in his tracks!
heheheheh


That is what we are here for.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
I have been watching Ms Paula,
Every time I think it may go see Baha
or loop to visit Kman,
the tracks seem to pass my neighborhood
every so often...

wait and see again,
but I am hoping the end of the season
soon come.


So far so good for all of us this year. It didn't look that way when we saw the SST and TCHP back in May. Just goes to show that not even historically high ocean heat content can produce catastrophe unless other critical factors also align themselves and that did not happen this year.

It's not over but the fat lady has started humming.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 508 - 458

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.