Cuba and atmospheric conditions have brought Paloma to an end:
The Cayman Islands are in the path of Paloma - from the AP:
Lights flickered across Grand Cayman, where tourists gathered on balconies and beaches to watch the storm whip up 10-foot (3-meter) waves.
The hurricane's center was expected to pass near Grand Cayman during the night or early Saturday, then gain strength and punch a Cuba already suffering from billions of dollars in damage from two previous hurricanes this season.
Cuban official newspaper Granma, recalling past late-season hurricanes such as a 1932 storm that killed about 3,000 people, said Paloma poses "a potential danger for the island." The storm could grow into a Category 3 hurricane with winds of at least 111 mph (179 kph) as it heads toward Cuba's midsection, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
The Cayman Islands government asked all hotels to remove guests from the ground and first floors. Nearly 40 people were already staying in the islands' seven shelters.
Disney Cruise Line is altering the itinerary of the Disney Magic ship in order to avoid potentially dangerous weather conditions as a result of Hurricane Paloma. You can find the changes here.
AS IT HAS DONE SINCE THE FIRST ADVISORY...PALOMA CONTINUES TO STRENGTHEN...AND NOW APPEARS TO BE DOING SO AT A QUICKER PACE. SATELLITE PICTURES SHOW THAT AN EYE IS BECOMING BETTER-DEFINED WITH COLD CLOUD TOPS IN THE EYEWALL. AIR FORCE AND NOAA RECONNAISSANCE PLANES HAVE BEEN FLYING THROUGH THE HURRICANE THIS AFTERNOON AND HAVE FOUND PEAK 10000 FT FLIGHT-LEVEL WINDS OF 106 KT...SFMR WINDS OF 88 KT...AND A MINIMUM PRESSURE OF 967 MB. THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS RAISED TO 90 KT...AND HIGHER WINDS WILL SURELY BE FOUND IN SHORT ORDER. BARRING AN EYEWALL CYCLE...PALOMA WILL LIKELY INTENSIFY UNTIL THE VERTICAL WIND SHEAR INCREASES TOMORROW. THEREAFTER... STEADY WEAKENING DUE TO THE EFFECTS OF THE SHEAR IS FORECAST UP UNTIL A LANDFALL IN CUBA. A MORE RAPID WEAKENING WILL PROBABLY OCCUR AFTER THE CYCLONE MAKES LANDFALL IN CUBA. EXTREMELY HIGH SHEAR OVER THE ATLANTIC OCEAN SHOULD WEAKEN THE STORM QUICKLY...PERHAPS EVEN FASTER THAN SHOWN BELOW. THE OFFICIAL INTENSITY FORECAST IS CLOSE TO THE PREVIOUS ONE.
AIRCRAFT AND SATELLITE FIXES YIELD A MOTION OF ABOUT 020/5...A LITTLE TO THE RIGHT OF THE PREVIOUS ESTIMATES. A GRADUAL TURN TO THE NORTHEAST APPEARS LIKELY AS THE HURRICANE ENCOUNTERS SOUTHWESTERLY FLOW BETWEEN HIGH PRESSURE OVER THE CENTRAL CARIBBEAN AND AN APPROACHING MID-LATITUDE TROUGH OVER THE EASTERN UNITED STATES. TRACK MODELS ARE REASONABLY CLUSTERED ON A TRACK THROUGH THE CAYMAN ISLANDS TOWARD CENTRAL CUBA. THERE CONTINUES TO BE A LARGE DISAGREEMENT IN THE MODELS ON WHAT HAPPENS TO PALOMA IN THE LONGER-TERM. HOWEVER...I'M STARTING TO PUT MORE WEIGHT ON THE SOLUTION THAT SUGGESTS THE HURRICANE WILL RAPIDLY SHEAR APART NORTH OF CUBA...WITH THE LOW-LEVEL CENTER BEING LEFT BEHIND AND MOVING SLOWLY NEAR THE BAHAMAS. THE GFDL...GFS...AND HWRF...THE FASTER MODELS FROM THE PREVIOUS PACKAGE...HAVE NOW SLOWED SIGNIFICANTLY AND ACTUALLY SHOW THE SYSTEM MOVING WESTWARD AT THE END OF THE PERIOD. IN FACT ALMOST ALL GUIDANCE NOW SHOWS THE SYSTEM EITHER MOVING SLOWLY OR MOVING WESTWARD IN ABOUT 5 DAYS. THE NHC FORECAST WILL BE SLOWED SIGNIFICANTLY AT DAYS 4 AND 5...AND COULD BE ADJUSTED EVEN FARTHER WEST IF CURRENT MODEL TRENDS CONTINUE. HOWEVER...AS NOTED ABOVE...THERE PROBABLY WON'T BE MUCH LEFT OF PALOMA IF IT MAKES THAT WESTWARD TURN DUE TO THE EXTREMELY HIGH SHEAR.
REPORTS FROM AIR FORCE RESERVE AND NOAA HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE PALOMA IS STRENGTHENING. THE CENTRAL PRESSURE HAS DROPPED TO AT LEAST 981 MB...AND THERE ARE MULTIPLE SFMR AND DROPSONDE ESTIMATES OF 65-70 KT SURFACE WINDS AROUND THE 16 N MI WIDE EYE. THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS INCREASED TO 70 KT...AND THIS MAY BE A LITTLE CONSERVATIVE. WHILE THE CIRRUS OUTFLOW IS GOOD IN ALL DIRECTIONS EXCEPT THE SOUTHEAST...ANALYSES FROM CIMSS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN SUGGEST THE HURRICANE IS EXPERIENCING ABOUT 10 KT OF SOUTHWESTERLY VERTICAL WIND SHEAR.
Paloma's maximum sustained winds increased to 130 kilometers (80 miles) per hour, from 120 kph earlier today, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in an advisory on its Web site just before 7 a.m. Miami time. The system, which is forecast to continue strengthening, was about 395 kilometers (245 miles) west of Montego Bay, Jamaica, and moving north at 13 kph.
"On the forecast track, the center of Paloma will pass near the Cayman Islands late Friday or early Saturday," before hitting Cuba, the center said. Additional "strengthening is likely and Paloma is expected to become a Category 2 hurricane later today and possibly reach Category 3 intensity by Saturday."
A Category 3 storm has winds of between 178 and 209 kph, the third strongest on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of intensity. As much as 12 inches (30 centimeters) of rain may fall on the Caymans, the center said.
Paloma is now a hurricane:
CORRECTED HURRICANE STATUS IN LOCATION PARAGRAPH
...PALOMA RAPIDLY STRENGTHENS INTO A CATEGORY 1 HURRICANE...
A HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE CAYMAN ISLANDS. A HURRICANE WARNING MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS. PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION.
INTERESTS IN CUBA AND JAMAICA SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF PALOMA.
FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.
AT 700 PM EST...0000Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE PALOMA WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 16.9 NORTH...LONGITUDE 81.7 WEST OR ABOUT 165 MILES...270 KM...SOUTH OF GRAND CAYMAN AND ABOUT 280 MILES...450 KM ...WEST-SOUTHWEST OF MONTEGO BAY JAMAICA.
PALOMA IS NOW MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH NEAR 12 MPH...19 KM/HR. THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TONIGHT AND MOST OF DAY ON FRIDAY...WITH A GRADUAL TURN TOWARD THE NORTHEAST FORECAST TO OCCUR LATE FRIDAY AND ON SATURDAY.
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 75 MPH...120 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. PALOMA IS NOW A CATEGORY 1 HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE SCALE. PALOMA CONTINUES TO RAPIDLY ORGANIZE AND ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS LIKELY. PALOMA IS EXPECTED TO BECOME A CATEGORY 2 HURRICANE ON FRIDAY.
TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 70 MILES...110 KM FROM THE CENTER. DURING THE PAST HOUR...NOAA BUOY 42057 LOCATED JUST EAST OF THE CENTER REPORTED A ONE-MINUTE SUSTAINED WIND OF 71 MPH...115 KM/HR AND A WIND GUST TO 78 MPH...126 KM/HR.
THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE ESTIMATED BY DATA FROM THE NEARBY NOAA BUOY IS 987 MB...29.15 INCHES.
PALOMA IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 4 TO 8 INCHES OF RAIN OVER THE CAYMAN ISLANDS WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM TOTALS OF 12 INCHES POSSIBLE.
REPEATING THE 700 PM EST POSITION...16.9 N...81.7 W. MOVEMENT TOWARD...NORTH NEAR 12 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...75 MPH. MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...987 MB.
THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER AT 1000 PM EST.
Use this post to ask questions or post comments about Hurricane Paloma.
This season is not going to end quietly I guess - we give you Tropical Storm PALOMA:
AT 10 AM EST...1500 UTC...THE GOVERNMENT OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS HAS ISSUED A HURRICANE WATCH FOR THE CAYMAN ISLANDS. A HURRICANE WATCH MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 36 HOURS.
A TROPICAL STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM PUERTO CABEZAS NICARAGUA NORTHWARD TO LIMON HONDURAS. THIS WATCH COULD BE DISCONTINUED LATER TODAY.
INTERESTS IN CUBA AND JAMAICA SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF PALOMA.
TROPICAL STORM CENTER LOCATED NEAR 15.6N 82.3W AT 06/1500Z POSITION ACCURATE WITHIN 20 NM
PRESENT MOVEMENT TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST OR 340 DEGREES AT 6 KT