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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408. pottery
1:52 AM GMT on October 14, 2010
Quoting Grothar:
Anyone know what time the 11:00PM advisory comes out?

heheheh,
Gro, you are not old enough to know these things...
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24795
407. GeoffreyWPB
1:52 AM GMT on October 14, 2010
Might be a small eye...If it is, won't last long.

Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11517
406. Grothar
1:50 AM GMT on October 14, 2010
Anyone know what time the 11:00PM advisory comes out?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27103
405. pottery
1:50 AM GMT on October 14, 2010
Quoting sammywammybamy:
Models Must Have Ingested Something...


From those lines, it MUST have been illegal.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24795
403. Neapolitan
1:49 AM GMT on October 14, 2010
Quoting miamiheat:
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, 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...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13742
401. pottery
1:47 AM GMT on October 14, 2010
Quoting Seastep:
How are you Pottery? Get that leak fixed?

I sure hope so!
Ran some water from the hose up there (had to be a little careful due to the electricity point close by!)
Seems good now.
A flashing into a blockwall...
you know the thing.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24795
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 worry, in college I couldn't believe people asked me if I really lived in trees in Jamaica. So I told them with a really straight face... yes and I eat coconuts all day long. Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer.

Question: If Paula makes an eastward turn (below Cuba)is it possible for her to retain enough energy to be a problem for Jamaica?

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Quoting Seastep:


Thanks!

:)
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24795
Quoting stillwaiting:
New season of stormchasers premiering tonight on discovery channel,starts 10pm est.....heck maybe we'll see t-dude or ozzy making a appearance!!

That would be really awesome! Unfortunately, I don't have TV at my house...
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


Go Watch TV
Nah. TV sux. About to go read the kids a book, though.
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How are you Pottery? Get that leak fixed?
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
Quoting pilotguy1:


There are many on here who appear to be blogging from Mars> Heheheheh.
MarvinTheMartian would be a good handle...LOL

Of course it could be possible IE: Mars is a borough in Butler County, Pennsylvania, USA. The population was 1746 at the 2000 census.
Member Since: September 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
Quoting pottery:
Trinidad weather now
(I know y'all have been waiting all day....)

temp 81 F
humid. 84%
Max temp today 93F
Clear.


Thanks!
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
Trinidad weather now
(I know y'all have been waiting all day....)

temp 81 F
humid. 84%
Max temp today 93F
Clear.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24795
New season of stormchasers premiering tonight on discovery channel,starts 10pm est.....heck maybe we'll see t-dude or ozzy making a appearance!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
387. JLPR2
Quoting atmoaggie:
Central US. Just north of Texas.

My mom felt it... (in NE Oklahoma) rattled a few things around. No real damage resulting from that I've heard of.


Ah I see.
Also that's good! Damage sucks!
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NRAamy got your fork ready?
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Quoting JLPR2:


I actually made a report of Norway in 8th grade so I know where it is. :D

I heard there was a quake in Oklahoma, where's that in the US? XD
I'm not flawless... :(
Central US. Just north of Texas.

My mom felt it... (in NE Oklahoma) rattled a few things around. No real damage resulting from that I've heard of.
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Greetings earthling.

Greetings, SpaceNodule.
All is well?

Under starry skies here, with a trace of the Dreaded Sahara Dust.
Cooling down now.
Was a hot one.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24795
Quoting Grothar:


No, just a high, cold cloud top


LOL, now I'm gonna bust out a conspiracy theory. No 0015Z pic in the SSD loop, which just so happens to be the time on the RAMMB image.

Or, could be a sign that I watch waaaay too much Sat.
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
381. JLPR2
Quoting Grothar:


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.


I actually made a report of Norway in 8th grade so I know where it is. :D

I heard there was a quake in Oklahoma, where's that in the US? XD
I'm not flawless... :(
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How is your weather, Pilot?
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24795
Quoting pottery:

You dont believe us???
Good evening all.
Greetings earthling.
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Quoting pilotguy1:


You don't appear to be one of those from outer space.

LOL. but in this medium, you can never actually tell.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24795
Quoting dmh1026:
The blog is as dead as Paula..good night all..
RIP
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24795
The blog is as dead as Paula..good night all..
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Quoting pilotguy1:


There are many on here who appear to be blogging from Mars> Heheheheh.

You dont believe us???
Good evening all.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24795
Paula is almost done..not much left of her...Being shredded more each hour.
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Quoting atmoaggie:
echo echo echo echo echo echo
You seem kinda bored, Atmo.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
echo echo echo echo echo echo
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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 .
If I'm not mistaken, there was someone on here early this morning claiming to be blogging from Cuba.
Member Since: September 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
Heard this roll through last night...

22:21 NW 28 G 32 Heavy Rain and Windy
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Quoting Seastep:
Microwave, too.

Must be technical.

How awesome would it be to have floater ability on scat and MW?
I think the distance for geostationary would make the resulting data so poor in resolution it would be useless for TCs...at least with our current instruments and tech.
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Quoting AstroHurricane001:
18z GFS does not predict any snowstorm for S. Ontario on Friday, but this storm late in the month looks to be significant (~970 mb peak!).



At this point, according to the latest run, we're up to the 'T' named storm.


If that storm pans out, it could be the first flurries (or lake effect flurries) of the season in the Lake Superior region. Which is actually right on schedule for the first flake to be spotted.
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Quoting Seastep:
Is that what I think it is?


It's a badly sheared hurricane. What do you think it is?

Honestly it's amazing me that it's holding it's own in such bad shear. Is there some kind of record for hurricanes surviving for a duration under X knots of shear?
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Quoting Grothar:


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.
Europe!?! I thought that was in Canada somewhere...
*smack!*
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Quoting TampaBayStevo:


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.
Naturally. Given our past of under-counting in the way we do now and our current active period, the actual average number of name storms in undoubtedly somewhere in between the two.

And not 10. Nor 11.
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Quoting AstroHurricane001:
18z GFS does not predict any snowstorm for S. Ontario on Friday, but this storm late in the month looks to be significant (~970 mb peak!).



At this point, according to the latest run, we're up to the 'T' named storm.
i watched the gfs 18z and it only showed richard and a strong wave off the leeward and antilles becoming shary at the end. Face it, the most we will likely get to is Shary or Tomas. Maybe Only Richard Before Shutting down. Or Maybe More Who Know, This season is definitly "ONE OF A KIND!"
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Quoting Grothar:


Nice, but all I see is more of the Atlantic.


That's the point lol
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
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.



The slimmest of windows remains for Paula to move north just enough for her to go into Key West.

I'm holding out on some hope, too! :)

We're only talking 20 miles of northerly component for her to hit us!
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Quoting Seastep:


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?


Nah, that's polar orbit. I think your right, its in LEO and in polar orbit.
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There was a blogger from Gitmo for about 18 months, haven't seen him on this past year.
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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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