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Paloma weakens to Tropical Depression, dissipates over Cuba

November 10th, 2008 Category: Tropical Storms

Tropical Depression Paloma dissipates over Cuba - November 9th, 2008

Tropical Depression Paloma dissipates over Cuba - November 9th, 2008

After making landfall and steadily losing strength over Cuba, Hurricane Paloma weakened to tropical storm status early on November 9th, then to a tropical depression that afternoon while stalling over the area.

In the image, the dissipation of Paloma is clearly visible; as we can see the system has lost its organization, particularly compared to images from November 8th in which the eye was easily identifiable.

Early on November 8th, Paloma had strengthened into Category 4 hurricane. That morning, the center of Paloma passed directly over Little Cayman and Cayman Brac with 220 km/h(140 mph) winds.

The system then continued northeastward, and hit its peak winds of 145 mph (230 km/h) by 4 p.m. EDT (2100 UTC), making it officially the second most powerful November hurricane by windspeed in recorded history, behind only Hurricane Lenny in 1999.

Paloma held steady in intensity, but it suddenly weakened to a 125 mph (215 km/h) Category 3 before making landfall near Santa Cruz del Sur, Cuba that evening.

Almost 1 million people along Cuba’s low-lying southern coast were evacuated in advance of the storm. Paloma caused widespread communications outages throughout the island, already harmed by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike earlier this year, and destroyed hundreds of homes.

On the Cayman Islands, Paloma knocked down trees, flooded low-lying areas and ripped roofs off buildings, but the Hazard Management Committee did not report any injuries.

source Bloomberg

Hurricane Paloma approaches Cuba

November 8th, 2008 Category: Tropical Storms

Hurricane Paloma - November 8th, 2008Paloma

Hurricane Paloma - November 8th, 2008

Hurricane Paloma - enhanced image

Hurricane Paloma - enhanced image

Hurricane Paloma strengthened into a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of about 140 miles (225 kilometers) per hour as it approaches Cuba, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Paloma’s center was moving near Cayman Brac at about 9 mph, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said in an update at 10 a.m. Miami time. It was 130 miles (209 kilometers) east- northeast of Grand Cayman and about 140 miles southwest of Camaguey, Cuba.

Paloma is expected to continue traveling east-northeast through tomorrow, according to the center. It may approach the coast of south-central Cuba late tonight or early tomorrow. The island nation is still recovering from the impact of hurricanes Ike and Gustav.

The storm is expected to strengthen before weakening later today and tomorrow, the center said.

The Cuban government issued a hurricane warning for the central provinces of Ciego de Avila, Camaguey, Las Tunas, Granma, and Holguin, meaning sustained winds of 74 mph or more are expected in those areas within 24 hours, according to the center. Residents were urged to rush preparations to protect lives and property.

Hurricane Paloma

November 7th, 2008 Category: Tropical Storms

Hurricane Paloma - November 6th, 2008

Hurricane Paloma - November 6th, 2008

Hurricane Paloma - enhanced image

Hurricane Paloma - enhanced image

Tropical Storm Paloma was upgraded to hurricane status the evening of November 6th.

Paloma is currently a Category 1 storm, although it may become a Category 2 later on Friday and could reach Category 3 intensity by Saturday.

At 10:00P.M. EST on the 6th of November, the U.S. National Hurricane Center reported that Hurricane Paloma was located about 240km (150mi) south-southwest of Grand Cayman and about 435km (270mi) west-southwest of Montego Bay, Jamaica. Paloma is moving north at 13km/h (8mph), though it is expected to turn northeast late Friday.

In the image, we can see Paloma covering part of Cuba, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, while Haiti, the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos Islands are clearly visible.

A hurricane warning is still in effect for the Cayman Islands, as Paloma should pass by late Friday or early Saturday. The NHC in Miami has said that hurricane watches and warnings may be issued for parts of Cuba later on Friday.

Paloma’s maximum sustained winds are 120 km/h (75 mph), with stronger gusts. Minimum central pressure is 987 mbar (hPa; 29.15 InHg). Hurricane-force winds extend out up to 25 km (15 mi) from the center of Paloma, and tropical storm-force winds extend up to 110 km (70 mi).

Tropical Storm Paloma

November 6th, 2008 Category: Tropical Storms

Tropical Storm Paloma - November 5th, 2008

Tropical Storm Paloma - November 5th, 2008

Tropical Storm Paloma - enhanced image

Tropical Storm Paloma - enhanced image

Tropical Storm Paloma began as a stationary area of low pressure in the Caribbean Sea in the beginning of November that did not show tropical development for a few days. It finally organized and strengthened from a low pressure system to Tropical Depression Seventeen, just east of Nicaragua, on November 5th. It continued to intensify and became Tropical Storm Paloma the next day, the first tropical storm to receive this name.

According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, as of 7:00A.M. EST on November 6th, Tropical Storm Paloma was located about 115 km (70 mi) east-northeast of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Nicaragua / Honduras border.

In the main image, we can see Paloma off the coast of Nicaragua and Honduras (bottom), moving towards Cuba (top).

It is moving north-northwest at 11 km/hm (7mph), with maximum sustained winds at 40 mph (65 km/h), and stronger gusts. Tropical storm force winds extend up to 35 km (25 mi) from the center of Paloma, whose minimum central pressure is 1000 mbar.

The U.S. NHC has said that Paloma could strengthen into a hurricane on Friday. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Nicaragua and Honduras, from Puerto Cabezas to El Limón. The storm could pour up to 8 inches of rain over eastern Honduras, northeastern Nicaragua and the Cayman Islands. U.S. forecasters also have said that the storm could threaten Jamaica and Cuba.

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